Coronavirus has forced many businesses to adjust to a ‘new normal’. Costa Coffee is the latest retailer to announce a move to card only payments for fear of spreading the virus through contaminated notes.  

This may have unforeseen consequences as businesses experience the benefits of going cashless. 

Andy Patton, Chief Commercial Officer at Contis, said: “Going cashless is very important in preventing the spread of coronavirus – and recommended by the WHO for businesses still operating in these difficult times.   

“It also brings commercial benefit. Cash incurs significant bank processing fees for many businesses. Not least pubs and coffee shops that handle small change. Moving to card only payments is wise and may save millions in transaction costs for a national chain like Costa Coffee, with 2,500 UK outlets. 

“It’ll be interesting to see what happens after the crisis. Having experienced the benefits of going cashless, businesses might be reluctant to go back. 

“This would mostly affect the elderly and the unbanked. It really highlights the value of certain card and banking options already available in the market for these vulnerable groups. There are opportunities for new entrants to develop enhanced propositions and for existing players to do more for these groups.”   

Key facts 

o   Business bank accounts can charge 45p-65p per £100 deposited 

o   Overall, cash incurs visible and hidden costs: 

o   Retail labour costs 

o   Bank staff to process 

o   Safes and security  

o   Secure transport 

o   Increased risk of theft and fraud 

o   Considerably slower to process than electronic instant card payments  


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