We have now decided to go completely cashless. You are probably asking why, right?
As you know most banks are now shutting, many don’t even have branches you can access in a 50mile radius. They have also changed the hours they are open since covid, with many branches only open for 5 hours a day. This makes things extremely difficult for businesses to pay cash into the bank. They do have automated machines you can pay cash into, however if a note won’t be accepted and the branch isn’t open then that’s another trip to the bank when it is open to get the issue sorted. This actually costs our business time and in turn money to send someone to do the banking, when we could be here in the showroom or the office working. The bank also take percentage of what we pay in. That’s right the bank gets money for handling cash!
Feedback from customers recently, suggested that they needed to go to the bank to get money out for us or visit a cash machine – its much easier to call us up and pay over the phone. It also gives you the extra protection when you pay by card and not cash. Some customers also feel like they are rushing to pay the team or come into the showroom to pay, this just alleviates this element of stress for people, if they know we are not expecting cash.
If you are one of those people that likes to use cash and you are now thinking – how do I pay? We have three ways customers can pay our invoices:
- There is a link on the invoice that you can click to make your payment via credit or debit card – this way is the most efficient way to pay us – it generates a receipt straight away and your payment is marked against your invoice straight away too – no space for human error at any point. The merchant we use is PayPal which most people are using regularly so you can feel safe paying this way.
- You can pay via bank transfer – our bank details will be given to you when we invoice. We just ask you to use your invoice number as a reference – this is unique to you and helps reduce any errors made in marking your payment off from the bank statement – we find when people use the reference “garage door” it makes it harder for us to associate that payment with a particular customer and invoice, it may prompt us to contact you to check its you etc.
- Paying over the phone – this is also a safe method in terms of human error and marking payments correctly – all you do is call us up, tell us you want to pay over the phone, we find your invoice and confirm the correct amount with you, once that’s done we turn our call recording off – so we don’t save your card details anywhere and then we can take your payment and email a receipt to you straight away – if you prefer it in the post we can do that.
- We accept Mastercard and Visa in either credit or debit – we don’t accept American Express.
I recently read in the Guardian that only 15% of payments made in the last year (2021) in the UK were cash or coins! 😲😲 They predict this to keep shrinking year on year as many more businesses like us make changes to the payments they accept. More than 23 million people in the UK used hardly any cash or coins in the last year for purchases.
There is always a security concern with cash as well, so this stops any cash left in vehicles whilst the team are at a job and parked up, it also stops us having cash in the office and showroom, again avoiding any criminal activity which is set to rise as the cost of living sores!
All in all, for our business being small it makes sense to cut all the actions associated with cash going forward.
Michael and Simone ☺