Embracing the cashless revolution

Is it time for Cornish businesses to offer a wider range of payment methods?


It’s no secret that for many businesses in Cornwall, being cash-only is fast becoming a liability. A full 7.4 million people across the UK are now living what is described as a “completely cashless life”, meaning that they do not use cash for any transactions, preferring instead to opt for debit cards and digital payment gateways such as PayPal.

In Cornwall, the UK’s most popular domestic holiday destination, certain vendors are starting to catch on. The county’s first cashless cafe was opened in Truro in 2018, and since then all of the county’s leisure centres and a number of council-owned attractions have gone completely cashless.

For businesses in Cornwall looking to stay on top of consumer trends, it’s worth considering what it means to be truly cashless, and what the benefits are for your bottom line. Let’s take a closer look at why it might be time for Cornish business to embrace the cashless creed.

Broaden Your Customer Base

One of the most obvious benefits of broadening the range of payment options for customers is that you can expand your potential customer base. If you exclusively accept payments in cash or Visa, you run the risk of alienating those who use alternative payment methods. It is this logic that drives even the smallest tourist-focused businesses to accept mobile payments via AliPay, the most popular payment gateway for Chinese consumers. The payment methods that your business accepts, the more likely that people are to shop there.

Have a USP

The benefits of having a broad range of cashless payment methods extend far beyond the checkout area. Advertising the range of payment methods that you accept can be invaluable for your business marketing strategy. In certain hyper-competitive industries, having the right payment methods can be instrumental to winning over customers from the competition. Let’s take as an example the UK’s multi-billion-pound CFD trading industry, which connects traders of derivatives with experienced brokers to help them compete on financial markets.

As this comprehensive guide to UK CFD brokers explains, these brokerage platforms now include niche payment options such as Skrill and Neteller as a unique selling point to attract discerning traders. Given that there are now hundreds such brokerage platforms operating in the UK’s trillion-pound financial markets, a small feature such as having a payment option that other businesses don’t have could be instrumental to winning over more business from the competition.

Enhance Customer Retention 

Another crucial benefit of broadening your business’s payment options is that it can help to create loyal customers. Studies have shown that the more payment options you have, the higher your customer conversion rates are. This, in turn, can lead to enhanced customer loyalty, as customers who have done business with you in the past might be more likely to return if they know that they can use a platform that they are used to in order to pay. Given that many local economies in Cornwall depend on repeat customers and their families who return every summer, you should be making whatever adjustments you can if you think they can enhance customer retention.

This is why Cornwall-based businesses should not only embrace the cashless revolution, but also branch out and offer as many alternative forms of payment as possible. When it comes to your customers, choice is everything.