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As Los Angeles Moves to Ban Cashless, Emphasising Payment Diversity Needs for All Businesses

With adoption soaring for contactless card payments and handling all payments without the exchange or keeping of cash naturally being far more secure, it’s only natural that so many stores wanted to go cashless. Customers don’t need to carry cash, stores don’t need to store, sort, and later deposit cash, and payments can occur far faster without the need to work out and find change for any payments.

However, what going entirely cashless does is put up a barrier to those who don’t have contactless cards or other payment methods. Credit cards are so overwhelmingly popular across the US that unbanked groups and those with poor credit can easily find themselves excluded from a shop’s offering if it goes cashless. This is why councilwoman Heather Hutt has moved to ban cashless businesses in Los Angeles.

Several businesses will now need to revert to become accessible to all once again. However, this doesn’t mean that cashless options and several other forms of payment have to be deserted entirely. What the coming ban does reflect, though, is a need for businesses to be nimble with how they accept payments, both in a brick-and-mortar store and online.

The many preferences of customers

black samsung android smartphone displaying icons
Source: Unsplash

The payment preferences of customers have changed drastically in recent years, and while contactless is a big part of this, so too are the new disruptive options that gain traction by offering more convenient and accessible options than bank cards. In the US, credit cards have held strong at around a 40 percent market share from 2017 to 2022. Debit card use has sunk, as has the use of cash. On the rise are eWallet and other digital wallets, like mobile wallets.

You’ve got a three percent share for these in 2017, and that rose to ten percent in 2020, and by 2022, eWallets had a 12 percent share. Interestingly, prepaid cards have held quite strong with a small, but significant market share of between three and four percent.

Online, however, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover reign supreme while PayPal is on the rise, being accepted by 74 percent of online US stores, trailing Discover by 10 percent. In other major markets that aren’t too dissimilar from the US market, on the face of it, the situation is drastically different. In the UK, debit cards are wildly more popular than credit cards, with 97 percent using at least one debit card for daily use.

Cash sunk to 15 percent by 2021, while contactless saw an uptick to 32 percent by that year. The leaning towards debit cards is just as high in New Zealand, with 94 percent using debit. Another to keep an eye out for globally also looks to be cryptocurrency. Some nations have seen the bulk of their populations turn to crypto already, helping to bolster the crypto user base to over 400 million already.

Adapting to the prevalence of online purchases

Free Cryptocurrency Ethereum photo and picture
Source: Pixabay

In 2022, around 15 percent of US retail sales took place online. It seems like a relatively small percentage, but it’s significant and on the rise. So much online activity for purchasing isn’t only worth appealing to, but also adapting to in-store by way of payment methods. This is why services like PayPal, which is predominantly an online payment facilitator, have adapted their apps to allow users to make in-store purchases via PayPal.

However, just having PayPal wouldn’t be enough. Around the world, there are copious online payment options and having more increases the accessibility of a site. In the UK, studies have found that 44 percent of customers won’t checkout from their basket if their preferred payment method isn’t available. Reasons like this are why whole online industries in countries like New Zealand diversify as much as possible.

In the land of the Kiwi, you’ll find a plethora of payment options for online casinos. Many will offer most of the following options: credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Neteller, Skrill, bank transfer, major cryptocurrencies, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. In the US, additional options like iDEAL, Bancontact, Diners Club, and other eWallets should be considered online, and perhaps even in-store to allow for seamless migration between the two parts of your business.

Having a diverse range of payment methods is becoming essential for US businesses online and on the street. Those who skip on alternative, popular, and accessible forms of pay will miss out on custom.

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