Unraveling the Cashless Controversy: The Untold Story of Automation as an Antidote

Despite its consistent illustration as a conflict between business and consumer, turns out there’s common ground within the context of the cashless controversy.

For employees, handling cash as part of traditional business operations is costly, risky, and inefficient.

On the other hand, many consumers prefer to pay in cash. In fact, more than a quarter of transactions are completed with cash.

Reasons for this payment preference depend on a consumer’s banking status, their credit, and the type of product/service purchased, among other factors. For example, 55% of products costing less than $10 are paid for in cash.

As retailers and restaurants consider whether to go cashless, it is important that such entities also account for how automation can create common ground with their consumer base. This consideration is particularly crucial because of the cashless movement’s discriminatory nature. In the end, cashlessness blocks the unbanked, the underbanked, and others’ access to goods and services.

Automating Cash Management

Applying automation through robotics and cloud-based reconciliation meets both business and consumer needs. It simplifies and secures the cash management process. As a result, automation allows businesses to accept cash while also increasing efficiency and reducing costs and the risk of theft.

By leveraging technology to digitize cash, retailers automate every aspect of traditional cash counting, deposits, provisional credit, courier management, and reconciliation.

Businesses benefit from automation because of automation’s ability to eliminate many employee tasks that simply do not add value proportionate to the time the tasks require. Oftentimes, these tasks are associated with processing consumer cash payments. 

Essentially, implementing automation in your back office frees up employees to focus on more client-facing and/or directly beneficial opportunities.

For example, by applying proper cash handling technologies, cashiers benefit from “self-banking.” These benefits include a secure and effective process for dispensing/receiving tills. Additionally, the risk of theft – both internal and external – can be dramatically reduced with full cash accountability against the POS.

This transparency adds efficiency, which lowers costs while also increasing visibility and control.

Going Cashless Comes with a Cost

When a business aims to go cashless, they also risk slashing their sales.

Oftentimes, cashless businesses must turn away cash paying customers who represent the 30% of transactions completed in cash. Perhaps even more detrimental to the bottom line, sometimes such businesses will opt to let customers who intended to purchase with cash have the product/service free of charge in circumstances when customers are carrying no other method of payment.

While credit cards should certainly remain a payment option, eliminating cash payment naturally subjects businesses to more credit card fees.

Flipping the Conversation from Controversy to Common Ground

Cash Recycling & Reconciliation creates a mutually beneficial opportunity for both businesses and consumers by automating cash management.

This innovation proves that cash as a payment option doesn’t need to turn into a heated debate. The basic right to make a purchase with cash can indeed be accommodated by retailers, restaurants, and the like.

A focus on automated cash management favors both business and consumer. Transitioning to this focus facilitates automation as an antidote to the current cashless controversy between businesses and the very customers whose needs they are meant to meet.