New Visa Program Helps Merchants go Cashless

July 17, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

The move toward a cashless society seems to be gaining ground, though it’s moving along about as slowly as just about anyone could ask it to. There’s an interest in mobile payment systems, and growing use and acceptance of these, but for most it’s just a convenient novelty. Visa’s looking to push this concept forward with its recently-announced Visa Cashless Challenge.

The Visa Cashless Challenge calls for businesses—mostly smaller businesses, and among these more service-oriented businesses, the kind that routinely deal in cash anyway—and is offering 50 of these businesses up to $10,000 each, a cumulative total of $500,000, to augment current systems and bring in cashless operations.

Visa isn’t just calling on other businesses to start going cashless; it’s also actively demonstrating the impact of cashless operations by serving as the official payment partner of the first ever Formula E running, the New York City ePrix. With several New York restaurants—from Fish Cheeks to Mulberry & Vine—joining in, it’s out to make the value of cashless clear.

Visa’s Jack Forestell, current head of global merchant solutions, commented “At Visa, we believe you can be everywhere you want to be, and that it should be easy to pay and be paid in more ways than ever – whether it’s a phone, card, wearable or other device. With 70% of the world, or more than 5 billion people, connected via mobile device by 2020, we have an incredible opportunity to educate merchants and consumers alike on the effectiveness of going cashless.”

The idea of no longer handling cash can be an attractive one, especially to any operation small enough to have the same person take money and then handle food. Easier accounting, less risk of theft or pilferage, and a variety of other benefits likely prove attractive to the small food service business. That’s before considering how many customers might be happier about using mobile payments systems, and if there’s a loyalty program and a mobile order-ahead option built in, the numbers likely only rise from there.

The end result is that, while there were benefits to going cashless, there wasn’t much incentive to try and a lot of expense involved in doing so. Visa’s looking to pull that particular stop out, and get more businesses interested in going cashless.