Contactless payment card

Is it time you took your business cashless?

15 January 2020

It’s no secret that card payments are starting to become the normal method of payment, but did you know that in 2017, for the first time in the UK, card payments overtook cash as the most popular method of payment?

If this is a trend that looks to continue, cashless payments in the UK could even become the normal method of payment. Therefore, is it time that you introduced card only payments into your business?

Convenience for customers

UK Finance has estimated that 3.4 million people in the UK haven’t used cash in the last 12 months, and whilst this is a relatively small proportion of the population, it is a sign of the direction of cash usage. As we previously mentioned, 2017 was the year that card payments finally overtook cash, and the trend shows that cash payments will continue to decline as card payments increase.

Going cashless will help your customers by allowing them to not worry about having cash on them or getting to a cash machine. Contactless payment will also mean that customers are having to carry less small change, whilst mobile phone payments, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, are both now easy to access and operate, and your customers don’t even have to worry about carrying their wallet or purse.


If you decide to get rid of cash payments, you will remove security risk from your business by not keeping cash on site. This could also have a positive effect in bringing your insurance premium down, but be sure to check this with your insurance broker before allowing this to become a deciding factor in your decision.

You and your staff can also feel safer and less stressed about not having to worry about being responsible for the cash going missing, or being worried about being robbed whilst cashing up for the day.

Cash handling

No cash means less time having to handle money. Physical cash needs counting and taking to the bank, whilst a cashless system will involve taking care of numbers on a screen. There is also the security risk of having to transport large amounts of cash to your bank, which you could be at risk of losing.

Cashless payments will also allow you to serve customers quicker as your customers will not be spending time searching around for change, you’ll not be spending as much time counting out change and there will be fewer challenges from customers claiming they’ve been short-changed. All of these issues can be eliminated by only accepting a cashless payment.

Power outages or banking issues

If there is a power cut or a problem with a banks IT infrastructure, this will directly impact how much money you can make. Most card reading machines also require a stable internet connection, whether this is a Wi-Fi connection or mobile data connection. If your router goes down, this will impact your payment system.

Your card reader will also likely need some form of electricity to run, whether this is a power lead or battery which needs to be charged. No power for the machine means no money going into your business. It’s worth considering having a backup mobile card payment machine that can be battery powered and connects to mobile networks to process transactions should your business suffer power or internet connection issues.


Visitors to the UK will often bring money instead of using a card, which may charge them when spending abroad. By having a cashless payment system you could be alienating a large group of people who may wish to use your services.

Whilst travellers’ cheques only make up a small proportion of spending in the UK, you could still accept them as part of a cashless system, but you will also likely need to make visits to a bank to cash these.


Cybercrime has now affected 1 in 2 businesses in the UK in 2019, which means that it is more a case of ‘when’ than ‘if’ you will be a victim of cyber-crime. If you solely rely on cashless payments, this will increase your risk of falling victim to a cyber-attack so consider taking a look at cyber insurance.

Not only are you more attractive to cyber-criminals as a cashless business, but you also run the risk of having most of your digital assets stolen, whereas a business who does accept cash, will still have some funds following a cyber-incident.


There are still millions of people in the UK who want to use cash, whether this is a distrust of online banking, not understanding how to use cashless facilities or to better control spending.

A cashless society is also thought to put vulnerable groups at a disadvantage. For example, people who may be on a low income, digitally incompetent or the elderly may struggle to thrive in a cashless society. Research from Which? found that three-quarters of consumers in low incomes groups only use cash for the majority of their spending and that four out of 5 retirees are reliant on cash. By converting to a cashless system you could be alienating these different groups of people who rely on being able to use cash as their main form of payment.

Many consumers have become accustomed to leaving their purse or wallet at home and now use their phone to pay for goods and services, but what if you could just use your finger? Fingopay is a new method of payment and identity verification that allows users to register their fingerprint to do everything. When you register, you will connect your payment details and personal ID to use whilst you’re out and about, meaning that you don’t need to take your wallet with you.

Fingopay uses Hitachi’s VeinID technology which doesn’t read your fingerprints, but your vein patterns instead, by using infrared lights to see through your skin and read your vein pattern. This adds an extra layer of security, as fingerprints can leave a trace or be copied, whereas your vein pattern is unique to you, and can’t be copied.

Following a successful trial at Festival No.6 in 2016, a parent company called Sthaler was endorsed by Visa and Worldpay and was launched with Fingopay as their product. Fingopay is working with Visa and Hitachi to deliver the technology, and aim to secure £5.6 trillion worth of transactions by 2020. Is Fingopay something that you could adopt at your business?

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Get in touch with one of our insurance advisors to discuss your business' insurance needs and compare quotes from some of the UK's most well-known insurance providers.

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