Running a cashless business in New Zealand
In New Zealand, Westpac media relations manager Will Hines says apps like Westpac Pay and Westpac Get Paid are assisting consumers and retailers in going cashless.
“Across the industry ATM usage is declining and people are increasingly using Eftpos, debit and credit cards for their purchases, as well as apps on smartphones.
“We are likely to see an increasing number of businesses try out a cashless approach, especially those who have customers from a particular demographic.”
Toast Martinborough is one such event. General manager Anna Nielson has seen the benefits of a digital payment system for both the customers and event organisers of the wine festival since the change to cashless in 2016.
“We have moved to a cashless system because of the convenience of having a hands-free payment solution for our festival goers. I.e. there is no need to juggle around cash while you are holding a glass in one hand and more often than not a plate of food in the other.”
Westpac's Hines adds, “One of the big savings is time - not carrying cash means retailers will spend much less time on bookkeeping.
“They also won’t need to take money to the bank and it will mean they won’t need to factor in cash-handling fees.
“And, of course, not holding cash means one less security risk and potentially lower insurance costs.”
Though there are costs associated with using these new systems, Hines doesn’t think this is a problem.
“The cost of cashless payment systems will be offset by not having to manage cash.”
Nielson agrees, with a slightly different experience as the Toast Martinborough festival previously used paper money due to liquor licensing laws at the time of the event’s inception.
“There have been no challenges for us, and we have actually reduced our costs in this area as the system is so much more efficient than our previous system. “
She says that there are more benefits to cashless systems than just easy payments for events like Toast Martinborough.
“For example, there is a potential to manage flow a lot better thereby allowing event organisers to be more proactive, rather than reactive on event day.
“In addition, the information we receive about what people are eating or drinking, where and when on the day allows us to better forecast our resources for the following years event.”
With more and more events adopting these systems and consumers catching on, it is perhaps no surprise that a recent Visa study of 100 cities positioned Auckland as a ‘digital leader’ with a very high rate of cashless transactions. This was amongst other cities in Canada, Europe, Scandinavia and Australia.
A MYOB survey put New Zealand’s digital spending at 73 percent of transactions, while the 2017 World Payments Report reported 66 percent. The UK and Australia were at about 50 percent according to the same report.
However, Hines thinks that physical money still has a future, with reasons for retailers to keep using it: “Lots of customers still like using cash and if businesses are cashless, they may lose some sales.”