Going cashless – it’s time for SMEs and entrepreneurs to play their cards right

Going cashless – it’s time for SMEs and entrepreneurs to play their cards right

Consumers are becoming less inclined to carry cash, for both personal safety reasons and simple convenience. The move towards a cashless society accelerated during the pandemic when more people swapped cumbersome cash for a quick card tap.  

As South Africa, traditionally a cash-based society, slowly shifts towards electronic and card payment methods, businesses that don’t accept credit and debit cards will start to find themselves on the back foot, according to Zunaid Miya, Managing Director of local fintech company, Hello Pay.

“With cash gradually being dethroned as king, telling your customers that you don’t accept cards, regardless of your company’s size, will become damaging to your business and eventually hit where it hurts – the bottom line,” says Miya.  

In fact, research by online lending marketplace Fundera shows that consumers spend up to five times more when paying by card. Besides the increase in profit, other benefits of using card machines are the convenience and enhanced security afforded to customers, resulting in better customer satisfaction and improved reputation in the marketplace. 

So why the reluctance from small business? According to Miya, many small and micro merchants are wary of the hassle and extra cost that they perceive will come with using a card machine. “The key is to find the right card machine provider and the right device for your business needs. The best card payment solutions are low cost, easily accessible, simple to use and ideal for growing businesses. Transaction fees should also be based on a turnover sliding scale, so your fees go down as your business grows. Opt for a solution that ensures that once you buy a point-of-sale device, you own it outright so there are no rental, activation or registration fees.” 

The card machine you choose for your business will depend on your budget, the size of your company, and the number of staff who will be using a company registered POS device. It also depends on the nature of your business, whether it’s a physical store that stays in one spot, a mobile business that operates on the move, or a web-based company.  

“The latest card machines are small and lightweight and can go wherever your business takes you. They allow customers the flexibility to pay by card via the classic swipe, a new age tap or a good old-fashioned insert. Day-to-day admin, like inventory tracking and sales insights, can be managed via the device’s built-in transaction management software,” says Miya. 

Consumers’ spending habits are changing, and to stay ahead in a tough economy, businesses need to adapt. “The last thing a small company needs are customers walking away because they don’t have cash on them. Adopting new technologies is crucial to building a resilient and more efficient business,” advises Miya.