Can Cash-Only Businesses Compete in Today’s Card-Driven World?

Across America, there are still some small businesses that do not accept credit cards. But as U.S. consumers grow increasingly accustomed to charging even the smallest of purchases, these business owners must ask themselves a hard question: Can I afford to remain cash-only?

The answer, in a word, is no. Although some business argue that having a cash-only policy enables them to avoid transaction fees, receive payments immediately, or “make things easier,” they’re likely to be losing more than they’d gain by accepting plastic.

According to the Small Business Administration, the disadvantages of not accepting credit cards include:

  • Customers who do not have enough cash on hand will walk away from a purchase.
  • Customers who feel inconvenienced will shop elsewhere.
  • Keeping large sums of cash creates an added security risk.
  • Handling only cash increases the amount of time you’ll spend managing your finances.

Business that accept only cash also risk being left behind, as mobile card readers make credit card payments a reality for everyone from street vendors to babysitters.

The pressure to accept credit cards is only likely to intensify. (Experts even predict that cash will become scarcer in coming years as and may eventually become extinct.) With convenient, affordable technology like GoPayment making accepting credit cards so inexpensive and easy, there’s really no reason to put it off any longer.

About Stephanie Faris

Stephanie is a freelance writer and young adult/middle grade novelist, who also works in information systems. Her first book, 30 Days of No Gossip, will be released by Simon and Schuster in spring 2014. She lives in Nashville with her husband.
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