Deciding whether to use cash or cards for any given purchase can be tricky for many customers, and buying habits often differ widely from person to person. For example, some shoppers prefer to stick to cash for cheaper items and save their cards for more expensive purchases, while others use either cash or card almost exclusively.
So who’s doing it right? And what does this mean for businesses? It’s fair to say that the use of card has gone up sharply over the last few years, particularly with the rise of contactless payments, and this year the number of debit card transactions is set to hit 13.4 billion. Indeed, using a card for a majority of purchases can actually have some major advantages, as the following reasons show.
1. Cards are more secure
There’s no getting around the fact that if you lose cash, it is virtually untraceable and is likely to be lost forever. For those who carry around a lot of notes, this can be particularly troublesome and demonstrates that sticking to card payments may be a good way to go.
A card is more secure as customers can immediately cancel it as soon as they realise it is gone. Once cancelled, it is useless, and any potential thieves will not be able to make purchases with it. What’s more, if they do manage to make a purchase with it, there will be a record of this on the relevant bank statement, meaning that investigations can be made.
2. Cards are more convenient
Gone are the days when shop assistants had to count out every last note and coin for every transaction. Using a card actually does many retailers a favour by cutting down time at the till and shortening queues, allowing you to offer a more efficient service and shopping experience. This is even quicker when customers use contactless card payments.
3. Cards create an accurate record of purchases
Having all of the month’s purchases on one bank statement can be great for those who want to examine their spending habits and work out how to budget better. Using cash, however, prevents shoppers from getting the full picture. It can be easy to forget minor impulse buys bought with cash, but these can easily add up and be a major part of someone’s money worries.