No one is surprised Visa has no love lost for cryptocurrency users. However, the company also wants to abolish cash payments. After all, cash transactions are a threat to the card payment infrastructure. The company has now extended a new offer to small merchants. In exchange for a payment technology upgrade, these shops have to stop accepting cash. An interesting plan, although it is a rather surprising decision.
It is not entirely strange to see Visa take such an aggressive stance. Weeding out cash payments is the end goal for the entire financial sector. Unlike bank transfers and payment cards, cash gives consumers some degree of financial freedom. Such a thing cannot be allowed these days, that much is evident. In fact, the company has come up with an ingenious plan to make this happen. Offering small stores a payment technology upgrade is quite an attractive offer, after all.
Visa Takes the war on Cash Very Serious
More specifically, this initiative is targeted at small US retailers for the time being. The company will award up to US$10, 000 for restaurant or food vendor. This includes paying for both technology and marketing costs alike. The only requirement is how they have to stop taking cash payments. A rather strange decision, as cash is one of the most common payment methods at such locations. It will be interesting to see how successful this venture can be.
Cash represents close to 35% of all transactions by US consumers. That was the number in 2015, at least. Right now, that number will be closer to 30% by the look of things. Credit card payments have seen an increase in popularity as well. However, food vendors and card payments do not mix well. Customers have little loyalty at these places already. Removing their option to pay with cash is not a smart decision. Most merchants have absolutely nothing to gain from this Visa promotion whatsoever.
Moreover, credit card payments will remain ridiculously expensive. There is not much Visa can change in this department right now While cash is not the safest payment method in terms of storage, Accepting a high-fee payment solution and dropping a commonly used one in exchange seems like a win for Visa. For the merchants, not so much. It is quite interesting to see such schemes pop up every now and then. Weeding out cash will not happen anytime soon, though. Visa will need to come up with a different strategy, to say the least.