Could Your Small Business Benefit From Going Cashless?

1 min read • Jul 13, 2017 • Melanie King

If your business’s digital payment technology isn’t quite up-to-snuff, Visa might be able to help. The financial services giant is offering $10,000 incentives to 50 U.S.-based small business owners who commit to ditching cash for digital payments. Visa announced Wednesday it would open its Cashless Challenge to restaurants, cafes and food trucks to start, with plans to expand the program into other industries and possibly internationally in the future.

“We are declaring war on cash,” said Andy Gerlt, a spokesman for Visa.

The world’s largest retail electronic payments network, Visa has skin in the game of cashless payments, taking a fee from each transaction on its network. For small business owners, these merchant fees can amount to thousands of dollars per year, and while digital payments are becoming the consumer’s choice, many business owners say they prefer dealing in cash.

According to Visa, the switch to digital only payments could save firms billions of dollars in the long term, eliminating the need for intensive bookkeeping and trips to the bank to deal with deposits. A Visa study reported that if businesses in 100 cities agreed to make the switch to completely digital payments, the cities would net $312 billion in benefits every year.

Getting rid of cash altogether means many small business owners will need to update their point-of-sale systems to accommodate card-only payments and other technologies such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Visa hopes that offsetting this expense through its incentive program will jumpstart a nationwide switch to all-digital payments.

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Melanie King

As a reporter and editor, Melanie has written about everything from retail and tourism trends to economic development for regional newspapers, trade publications, and national magazines. As Lendio’s Director of Public Relations, she specializes in reporting fintech industry news and its impact on American small businesses. Melanie has a B.A. in Journalism from Brigham Young University. She is also a backpacker, runner, and mom of four.