Should Cashless Businesses Have Reverse ATMs for Cash Customers?

April 19, 2018, Written By Lynn Oldshue

The push for businesses to go cashless grows every year. As USA Today recently pointed out, “no one has kept a running count of restaurants adopting the cashless policy,” but it is becoming a commonplace in the modern world.

While businesses may desire to eliminate cash, consumers are hesitant to jump on the bandwagon. What can cashless businesses do to reach these cash-reliant consumers and fuel their own growth for the future?

The Transition to Cash-Free Operations

In July 2017, Visa launched a Cashless Challenge for small businesses, targeted specifically at cafes and food trucks. Visa offered up to $10,000 for businesses that committed to going cashless. These businesses could accept digital payments, such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, but they could not accept any physical cash.

There are a couple reasons why businesses are opting for cash-free setups. It bypasses the security concern of having money stolen between bank deposits, and allows for faster transaction times. The small fee they have to pay for credit card processing is outweighed by the reduced theft risks.

But most consumers are still hesitant about going completely cashless. A recent study from Glory showed 84% of consumers still want the option to pay in cash, even if they mostly use credit and debit cards. In terms of comfort, 61% trust cash over mobile payments and 51% trust cash over card payments.

How Cashless Businesses Can Convert a Cash-Driven Audience

The answer to this dilemma lies in an ATM, or rather the reverse of one. Have you ever been to a business that did not accept credit cards? These businesses typically have an ATM on site that customers can use to withdraw cash. It isn’t ideal, but it saves those customers a trip to the bank, and earns the business a little money for the transaction fee.

Cashless businesses could install kiosks so visitors could turn physical cash into digital money. The possibilities are endless—bank deposits, prepaid card loading, PayPal deposits, mobile wallet deposits, Amazon Cash, and much more. As long as the customer had that type of card or mobile wallet on hand, a deposit could take place in order to make a cash-free purchase.

Would consumers be upset about the extra hassle? Probably, just like they are when a business doesn’t accept payment cards. Nevertheless, this would be a way to help consumers transition into a new business model, and they will be prepared to not pay in cash in the future.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of April 19, 2018. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Lynn Oldshue

Lynn Oldshue has written personal finance stories for LowCards.com for twelve years. She majored in public relations at Mississippi State University.
View all posts by Lynn Oldshue