July 17, 2017 2:35 pm
Updated: July 18, 2017 12:00 pm

Visa offers money to businesses willing to ditch cash payments

Visa is trying to get business to go cashless.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify that Rob Cameron is no longer Moneris Solutions Corporation’s chief product officer.

Visa is nudging businesses to embrace cashless transactions.

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The credit card company has announced the Visa Cashless Challenge, which offers small food-related businesses in the United States US$10,000 on the condition they ditch all paper and coin money in favour of electronic payments.

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“Aiming to create a culture where cash is no longer king, the program will give merchants increased ability to accept all forms of global digital payments,” the company’s press release read last week.

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In the release, the company went on to list the ways going cashless can benefit businesses and customers alike. It notes a recent study conducted by Visa that found companies had increased revenue after switching from cash to digital payments.

While Visa’s cashless challenge isn’t available in Canada, consumers have been leaning toward paper-free payments for years.

In 2015, the Bank of Canada noted that just half of all transactions are done with cash.

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A year later, Moneris Solutions Corporation predicted that cash transactions in Canada will drop 70 per cent by 2030, as consumers’ “misconceptions” about security fade and they switch to mobile wallets.

A survey conducted by the organization found that 61 per cent of Canadians would switch to using programs such as Apple Pay if they trusted they were secure. About 41 per cent of Canadians said they would use mobile wallets if they knew all stores would accept them.

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“More Canadians – especially younger ones – are tapping their cards to pay as opposed to inserting them into payment terminals,” Moneris’ then-chief product officer, Rob Cameron, said in September 2016.

 “We’ve seen the number of contactless transactions more than double this year, which is a strong indication that mobile payments are going to see a huge lift.”

According to Bloomberg, going cashless has its benefits for institutions. Governments, banks and businesses are able to carry out transactions more easily and faster. They also have better records of the exchanges and are able to prevent cash fraud.

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While going cashless would be easier for the consumer in similar ways, privacy concerns do arise with all transactions being traceable.

Sweden is currently the world’s most cashless society, according to the Guardian. The country’s central bank, Riksbank, said that cash transactions accounted for only two per cent of the value of all payments and that number is expected to drop further.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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