Stores and shoppers are snubbing paper money
VANCOUVER — Over the next year and a half, Alan Bekerman plans to grow his healthy fast-food chain iQ Food Co. from five to up to 11 locations and not a single one will accept cash.
“It was one less thing that we had to think about, which is a huge benefit,” says Bekerman, who expanded the idea to all five of his Toronto eateries earlier this year.
He’s one of a growing number of retailers who believe shunning cash helps customers as it speeds up service and frees up staff to focus on less mundane tasks.
It’s a choice some in the industry say is likely to become more commonplace as tap-and-pay cards and digital wallets replace bills and coins, saving time by not having to fumble with cash at the queue.
It’s something DavidsTea cofounder David Segal is banking on, after recently opening the doors to his Mad Radish restaurant venture where he has a no-cash policy in place at both Ottawa locations.
“I just feel like the benefits are enormous and so why not try it?” says Segal, who aligns faster service with better customer experience.
He says it’s too soon to know just how much expediency will be gained, but he believes tap-and-pay methods will always be more efficient than cash exchanges.
For Bekerman, the switch to cashless transactions has freed up his restaurant managers from doing archaic tasks such as counting paper. “The highest paid folks in the restaurants can actually spend that time doing things that we thought were a lot more meaningful,” he says.
Bekerman says he has only heard of a few instances of consumer grumblings. The complainants included a few folks who used cash or Bitcoin due to privacy concerns.
Consumers, in part, may be driving the trend toward digital-only payments.
“Cash is significantly down as a preferred payment device,” says Angela Brown, CEO of Moneris Solutions.
In the second quarter of 2017, 39.5 per cent of payment transactions used tap-and-pay, according to data from the debit and credit payment processor. That’s up from 30.86 per cent the year before. Moneris predicts that figure will jump to 50 per cent by the end of the year.