Revolutionising The Old Ways Of Payment
The café we’re talking about is The Watch House, in London. It exists like any typical hipster café would; with shelves lined with bread, and baskets of fruit placed discreetly, it exudes a rustic vibe. Anyone might appreciate its overall aesthetics.
But when we found out that The Watch House no longer accepts payment in cash, we were surprised, to say the least.
Manager Emma Barges gave a pretty straightforward reason to the sudden shift: “80% of our customers were already paying with cards, so it was a logical next step.” Furthermore, it was a move that helped them fight against possible robberies. Considering that they had gone through four break-ins by robbers, The Watch House felt it necessary to revamp the old ways of payment.
Although it sounds like an unusual way of running a business, it’s not as if we haven’t seen even more extreme cases of revolutionising payment methods; how can we forget the introduction of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin? Despite the hype surrounding them, such digital currencies have yet to become completely mainstream due to its complexities and technological instabilities.
But to step into a cashless economy – is that even possible?
Possible or not, payment procedures like credit and debit cards have certainly gained popularity, specifically because of their benefits. They’re convenient to carry, easy to use and hinder crimes like tax frauds due to their high levels of security. Most importantly, they are extremely fast; where picking out and counting notes from your wallet ends up lengthening the checkout line, simply using a credit or debit card is much quicker, and easily keeps the line moving.
However, to say digital wallets can completely replace the cash system is still a long shot. In the words of Victoria Cleland, the Bank of England’s chief cashier: “Cash is vital in supporting financial inclusion.”
Statistics show that today, there are about 500 billion banknotes and trillions of coins still in circulation – that’s still a pretty big number, and it’s hard to ignore. Some people still consider cash to be integral; since it’s a physical currency you can see and feel, they are more eager to trust it.
But can we say the same for digital methods of payment? Although the idea of keeping all financial data locked in a sleek, pretty-looking card is attractive, some people doubt the system in its entirety; Bjorn Eriksson, former head of Interpol, once raised a very plausible question himself: “If we move to a wholly cashless society and something disturbs this digitised system, what happens?”
Despite the terrifying prospects of such a blunder, the simple fact is this: every financial group requires customers to trust their model. It’s the only way they know they won’t go out of business – if they satisfy their customers to the extreme, they’re not in trouble.
The same kind of thinking has been adopted by tech-companies, who have revolutionised the ways to run a business. POS software in Pakistan like Oscar POS go the extra mile by not only providing a cloud-based system but also offering multiple methods of payment, including cash, debit and credit cards. That way, business owners can ensure their customers get a range of choice.
After all, we’re currently in a transitional stage, where digital advancements are slowly entering everyday activities. To say that one day cash will no longer be king is certainly possible, but it won’t happen anytime soon. For now, we can do what The Watch House has successfully done: take the pros of digital payment methods, and use it to power businesses.