Cashing-In: Accepting Cash for Ecommerce is Bringing Unbanked Customers Back to Retail

 

When consumers think of ecommerce payment methods, debit and credit cards are the most prevalent forms of plastic they’ll pull out of their wallets to make a purchase. But a recent report finds as many as 6.5 percent of American households do not have a bank account. Retailers are beginning to realize these cashless, ecommerce payment models don’t work for all consumers.

Dallas-based Tidel is helping bring cash automation solutions to retail by providing proven cash management systems that enables to gain a better handle on how they manage their cash, and cater to the cash-paying consumer. To discuss, host Daniel Litwin sat down with David Barclay, Vice President of Marketing for Tidel for this episode of Cashing-In with Tidel.

The U.S. Federal Reserve reports that Americans use cash for as many as 30 percent of all their transactions. Yet some retailers have attempted to stop accepting cash altogether, saying it was risky for their employees to accept and costly to transact. Regulators in New Jersey, Philadelphia, New York City and San Francisco reacted and banned cashless stores, saying that refusing to accept cash is discriminatory.

“Being in the cash business, it’s significant, because (there) are a lot of people in our country that don’t have a bank account or are underbanked in terms of leveraging other institutions beside a bank to handle their cash needs or their business needs,” Barclay said. “Really what it means is a lot of these folks are paying in cash, whether it’s at a brick-and-mortar retailer or (where) they’d like to pay with cash for their online purchases, as well.”

In 2017, Amazon introduced Amazon Cash, which lets consumers add cash to an online account at 45,000 participating stores.

It’s one solution, Barclay said, that not only helps avoid discrimination against unbanked consumers, but serves as a smart business decision aimed at capturing more market share.

“That is a program targeting, specifically, the demographic we’re talking about – the unbanked consumer. … I thought (Amazon Cash) was a brilliant move on their part,” he said.

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