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Making Change study from Square (May 2019)

June 3, 2019 Share Source
As it turns out, a decline in cash use is no reason to abandon cash altogether, concludes white paper from Square.

A wave of support for safeguarding cash is sweeping the USA, and with it, the debate on cash. When is it okay to refuse cash as a payment option? Who should have the right to choose whether or not cash is an option? Why does cash matter to business owners?

The Making Change study discusses the cash debate in the United State of America with a focus on the perspectives of small business owners and finds that 2 in 3 business owners saying they will always accept cash as a payment method.

"I don't think it's fair for someone to not be able to purchase something because they don't have a bank account, [....] If you want to pay in cash, pay in cash. If you want to pay in credit, pay in credit."
" Candice, Oakland Small Business Owner, Candid Art Accessories As quoted by Square (May 2019)

Tavis, owner of Mudcup Coffee in New Jersey, says that it is un-American for the government to tell a business what to do, and would likely shun the nation-wide ban on cashless businesses.

While Laurie, owner of Pieces in Missouri says it's the duty of a responsible business owner to accept customers from all economic levels and so they should always accept cash.

Nicholas, owner of Foster Coffee in Michigan says he'd adapt to the customers, whether it's Bitcoin or cash, for him, it's 'a means to an end'.

"We've had this restaurant for 54 years, since 1966. We're cash-only because we haven't changed anything in this place. We aren't trying to keep up with the whole internet and millennial thing. We're trying to keep it where it's at, "
" Fadi Shawa, San Francisco, CA Owner of Sam's Pizza and Burgers As quoted by Square (May 2019)

These numbers are consistent across geographies (cities, suburbs, and rural areas) as well as age groups, with only baby boomer business owners (54?72 years old) trending slightly higher toward expecting a negative customer reaction.

Some business owners view being cash-only as a part of their legacy.

'As the company that made it easy to accept credit cards, one would think Square would be the loudest advocate for a cashless economy. We’re not.'
" Cents and Sensibility Making Change White Paper Square Inc. (May 2019)

Excerpt from Square study

Going cashless is the exception, not the norm

Eighty-three percent of small business owners across the U.S. say they will never stop accepting cash, according to new third-party research of 1,000 small business owners across the U.S., conducted by Wakefield Research and commissioned by Square.

The majority of small business owners are skeptical of a cashless future, with 73% of small business owners saying that America will never go fully cashless. Why? Customer satisfaction: Two out of three small business owners say their customers would react negatively if they went to a cashless business model.

"Making Change: Laura" Square, May 10, 2019

Laura Leister, owner of board game bar and restaurant Pieces in St. Louis, MO, launched her business with a cashless payment model, but ultimately switched to accepting cash after backlash from frustrated customers.

Anni Caporuscio, owner of Small Town Coffee Co., estimates that shifting to a cashless business model in her town of Kappa, HI, would leave behind roughly half of her customers. She can't fathom making such a drastic decision. Capouruscio says most of her fellow business owners in Kappa take that same approach.

Download Square White Paper here

Last Updated: July 10, 2019

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