Wake Up! Cash Isn’t Going Anywhere!

Cash plays a crucial role in financial inclusion, offering economic participation to millions worldwide who lack banking services, maintaining its global significance

Simon James, CEO at PayComplete

Despite living in an age dominated by digital transactions, with an estimated $40 trillion of hard currency in circulation globally, cash continues to thrive in the 21st century.

Despite recent predictions of its demise following a surge in electronic payments during the COVID-19 pandemic, cash use has demonstrated resilience.

Notably, the use of physical US dollars has risen, while cash remains deeply ingrained as a cultural preference in many countries, such as Germany.

Even in the UK, a hub of payment innovation, there’s a growing recognition of cash’s enduring importance.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has proposed new legislation to protect access to cash, reflecting similar sentiments and initiatives in other markets across the globe.

In addition to its practicality, cash also plays a vital role in financial inclusion, providing economic participation for millions globally who lack access to banking services. 

Around the world, cash is either retaining its status as a preferred payment method or experiencing renewed popularity.

The Widening Cash Chasm

The results from our newly released research report, “The Cash Chasm”, reveal a notable trend:  57% of decision-makers in the retail, hospitality, and leisure industries worldwide anticipate that their businesses will never be entirely cashless.

Given this insight, it’s concerning that numerous organisations persist in using antiquated manual processes and methods for cash management and handling. 

Our research uncovers a striking statistic: a staggering 41% still rely solely on manual cash management processes. This exposes a significant gap between businesses’ current attitudes towards cash and a clear opportunity for enhancement.

Moreover, despite recognising its staying power, the failure to adequately adapt to cash’s enduring relevance is imposing a tangible toll on many businesses’ financial performance.

Our findings demonstrate that when more than six individuals are involved in cash handling, the expenses associated with security measures alone soar to a median average annual cost exceeding £409,000.

Every interaction involving cash within an organisation introduces friction to its movement and amplifies its overall cost. By neglecting to modernise their cash management processes and failing to embrace innovation comparable to other payment methods, businesses are grappling with needlessly expensive and inefficient processes – they are quite literally leaving money on the table. 

The Five Key Cash Chasm Findings

The Cash Chasm report illuminates five key findings that underscore the pressing need for automation and innovation in cash handling practices.

  1. Excessive dependence on manual procedures 41% of companies acknowledge relying solely on manual methods for cash handling. This percentage surges to nearly two-thirds (62%) in France.
  2. Frustrating Discrepancies – Over a third (34%) of businesses identify their primary hurdle as inconsistencies during cash handling and processing, primarily attributed to insufficient automation. France (54%) and Spain (43%) emerge as the regions grappling most with such discrepancies.
  3. Diminishing Worth – An alarming 20% of cash value is lost for organisations employing 3-5 individuals tasked with cash handling.
  4. Ignoring Customer Preference – More than one in three (35%) organisations encourage buyers to use electronic payment methods to increase overall efficiencies despite recognising cash’s resilience.
  5. Digging in Deeper – 31% of organisations are tightening processes and increasing staff training to offset their lack of automation, further increasing unnecessary operational expenditures.

The lack of automation has a huge and negative impact on business operations, including cash discrepancies, security worries, and high cash management costs – issues that demand urgent attention and an innovative solution.

Time To Embrace CashTech

From the perspective of financial leadership, continuing to disregard the importance of cash automation technology will inevitably be viewed as professional negligence.

Just as the FinTech sector has reshaped the landscape of consumer transactions in recent years, there is a pressing need to prioritise CashTech – using smart hardware and sophisticated software to automate cash management.

Automating cash handling processes is not just about keeping up with the times; it’s about maximising efficiency, security, and customer satisfaction.

Notably, by using CashTech, businesses can significantly reduce the risk of errors and discrepancies.

Unfortunately, people are prone to mistakes, which means manual cash counting and sorting can lead to significant financial losses.

With automated systems, such as note counters and coin sorters, businesses can accurately count and reconcile cash transactions, ensuring that every penny, or cent, is accounted for.

Moreover, CashTech can enhance security by reducing the risk of theft and fraud. Smart safes equipped with advanced authentication technologies provide additional layers of protection, safeguarding cash from unauthorised access.

By digitising cash handling processes, businesses can track every transaction and deposit made in real-time, enabling them to detect strange anomalies and prevent potential security breaches.

Customers Want To Use Cash

Importantly, using CashTech to accept physical money easily helps support any organisation and improves customer satisfaction.

Although digital and mobile payments are on the rise, many customers still prefer to use cash for various reasons. These include cultural preferences, privacy concerns and a desire for tangible transactions.

By offering evermore innovative, efficient, and secure cash-handling solutions, in addition to their existing digital payments infrastructure, businesses can cater to diverse customer needs to enhance overall satisfaction.

It’s time businesses wake up and start taking cash seriously.

We must stop thinking about cash as a relic of the past. Instead, CashTech offers the opportunity to embrace substantial cost savings and efficiency gains and, crucially, meet customers’ desicustomers’ physical money as a preferred payment method.

From local retail stores and travel operators to restaurant chains, transport networks, and even large multinational financial institutions, CashTech solutions can optimise cash-handling processes to unlock hidden revenue and drive business growth.

Author: Simon James, CEO at PayComplete.