Cash Only? You Could be Losing Half Your Customers

May 28, 2015

"The number of cash transactions dipped from 53.5 per cent in 2009 to 43.9 per cent in 2013, the central bank found."

Canadians pay cash less than half the time, Bank of Canada calculates | CBC News 

We’re moving to a Canada where debit and credit cards trump cash. If your business is cash only, you may be closing more doors than sales.

Survey says: Lack of payment options may cost business 

In April, more than 1,500 Canadians told us how they pay for products and services[1]. One thing came through loud and clear: Canadians want flexible payment options. Limit their choices and, as we learned, you may pay a steep price.

Almost half of the shoppers (48%) we spoke to said they had walked out of a store that didn’t accept credit or debit. Could your business survive that loss?

 — Cash only? Customers may walk away? | Marketing Magazine

Sixty-six per cent of Canadians said a store’s decision to not accept debit or credit would limit how much they spend. If a customer wants to spend $75, but only has $35 in cash, you’ve narrowed their options. Not accepting accept credit or debit may push that customer out the door with less than they wanted to buy.

But maybe they’ll buy what they can and return for the rest. Or maybe, if they really love what you’re selling, they’ll hunt for the closest ABM. Are you willing to risk your livelihood on maybes?


Your customers expect choice

Research shows that accepting credit cards can increase revenue by as much as 23 per cent. Offering more payment options makes your products and service available to more people.

Maybe you think that being cash-only will save you money and time. If your business sells small items, you may not want to pay fees on minor transactions or hold up lines while people enter their PINs. Guess what? Even at newsstands and coffee shops, Canadians want to pay with plastic.


Electronic payments trump cash at coffee shops and newsstands

Recently, the Bank of Canada found that credit cards trump cash even for small transactions (The Use of Cash in Canada). At coffee shops and newsstands, people are using their cards. One reason for this change is contactless cards, where shoppers tap their card to a payment terminal. It’s convenient and it means you can serve more customers faster.

Another reason to consider accepting debit and credit is that it can reduce errors on cash handling and make it easier to consolidate your funds each day.

Successful businesses offer flexible payment options. That’s important because 77 per cent of those we surveyed said they prefer to pay with debit or credit. Make your customers feel welcome. To many Canadians, a “CASH ONLY” sign on your door is a sign that reads, “CLOSED.”

Ready to capitalize on the growing electronic payments trend? Click here to find out more about accepting debit and credit cards with Moneris.


Leger conducted the survey, which had 1,542 respondents. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.
This article is for informational purposes only and it is not intended to provide you with any personalized financial, marketing, accounting or tax advice. Neither Moneris Solutions Corporation (Moneris) nor any of its affiliates shall be liable for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential or punitive damages arising out of use of any of the information contained in this article. Neither Moneris nor any of its affiliates warrant or make any representation regarding the use or the results of the use of the information, content and materials contained in this article in terms of their correctness, accuracy, reliability or otherwise.

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