Why accepting cash is costing your business money

It is no surprise that the speed, ease and convenience of card payments is overtaking the traditional cash payment method in many parts of the world. A 2017 survey conducted by The Reserve Bank of Australia showed that for the first time credit and debit cards — especially of the “tap and go” variety — had overtaken cash payments in Australia. Many other countries are mirroring this trend. Sweden is by far the country with the biggest uptake of cashless payment technology with only 15% of payments involving cash in 2018. 

Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why cash could be costing your business money :


When operating with cash, your business runs a large security risk through theft, loss or the accidental acceptance of counterfeit notes, particularly if you accept bills over $20 in denomination. There is a cost associated with keeping cash secure at your premises and when taking it to the bank to deposit. 


Let’s face it, change is a hassle for business. Time is spent calculating change floats, writing up change orders and then collecting change from the bank. Businesses must also consider how much working capital is tied up in the businesses cash floats which could be a lot smaller if more transactions occurred electronically. 

Labour costs:

Labour is the biggest cost when accepting cash. Research conducted by payment company Square revealed that businesses in Australia spend an average of 216 hours per year handling, counting and banking cash. Based on the Australian minimum wages rate this equates to almost $4,000 per year. Cash transactions can also take longer to process which leads to more time involved for employees and customers queuing at the checkout for longer periods of time.

Accounting & Banking:

Cash can be harder to account for when we consider that electronic payments are accounted for directly when they are transacted. Easier record keeping saves time and labour costs. In most instances electronic payments are banked the same day whereby cash may be banked more infrequently. This can assist business cashflow and monitoring of revenues and profits.

Customer expectation:

By only accepting cash you could be missing out on customers. Research conducted by the Australian Taxation Office revealed that nearly half of Australians felt inconvenienced if they could not use a card to make a transaction. In general, the population is carrying less cash in their wallets than ever before and want the convenience of a card payment in a lot of cases. This trend is increasingly visible across the globe.  

As payments technology advances the benefits of embracing it will far outweigh the cost associated with dealing with cash. In addition to customer convenience, electronic payments are more efficient and secure than cash payments and also make the business record keeping much easier. They say money makes the world go ‘round but the shape and form of money is evolving as we move into the future.

Jo Coveney is a passionate photographer and online marketing content creator. She loves following the latest developments in technology and design trends across the globe.