One day, we won’t use cash any more.

Published on 23/05/19

With the proliferation of touch payment systems, prepaid cards and even payment by smartphone, cash is disappearing from every day transactions. A phenomenon that is amplified by certain brands which are taking the plunge and definitively banishing cash. Explanations.

“We only accept bank cards”.

The organic food chain originally from Holland, Marqt, has decided to stop accepting cash payments in all its stores. They explain simply that it’s for security and sustainability reasons. The absence of cash in stores means that there is less risk of theft and it reduces the carbon footprint as there is no more need for secure convoys and transfers.
It’s a step that American fast food chains, such as Sweetgreen or Chopt Creative Salad Co, which each have almost one hundred outlets, are taking too.

Are customers ready for this?

From the clients’ point of view, Marqt draws on two figures: 90% of supermarket transactions are made by bank card and clients have on average 1.4 payment cards in their wallets. So it seems the time is ripe to let go of cash payments. What’s more, the in-store experience is improved as time at the till is reduced so the queues move faster. It’s a not negligible advantage for this type of business, particularly during rush hour.

So tomorrow, a world without cash?

Why not? It’s quicker and safer, and it seems that the absence of coins and notes can only be positive. What’s more, in Europe, 70% of in-store payments are still made in cash (European Central Bank study, 2016). The figure should be put into context depending on the country (68% in France, 63% in Belgium, 48% in Estonia and even 45% in Holland), and also the amounts of the payments. Effectively, as the payment amount increases, the payments in cash decrease. In France, they represent only 28% of total payments.

Photo credit : Marqt