I applaud employees and employers who have adapted to the changes required during the pandemic. We are truly stronger together. Some businesses have chosen to go cashless; this decision is to protect their employees and other businesses are going cashless due to the current coin shortage.
Economists are saying the shortage of coins is due to people spending less during the pandemic. The US Mint has also decreased the number of coins it produces due to measures put in place to protect its employees. They say this coin shortage is supposed to be temporary.
Other countries around the world, United Kingdom, Sweden, South Korea, India, and China have made strides to becoming a cashless society. Some 2 billion people globally do not have a bank account, showing that cash is still essential. There are risks of a cashless society include:
- Higher risk of hackers and identity theft.
- Investment cost to businesses for processing fees and card readers.
- Cashless society could handicap the following groups of people:
- People in debt
- Disabled people
- Rural families or anyone maybe be at risk of having their finances controlled by an abuser.
The problem with this move is that not everyone uses cards. There are many people, especially immigrants and the aging generation that use only cash.
Lack of good signage is creating a problem. A consumer will frequent a restaurant or coffee hut only to learn after the order is placed that they don’t accept cash. Customers are annoyed when they stand in the checkout line only to be told if they don’t have a card they have to go to a different line or can’t purchase at all.
Some businesses are not taking any cash, others are not making change. The best thing businesses can do is to communicate. Have signs visible on the doors, sandwich borders out front. Have employees tell customers of the changes as they enter the premise. There are many things that businesses can do to help mitigate frustration as we all navigate together during this time.
Frustrated consumers are less likely to be repeat customers.
Please communicate to your employees of any changes so they have the information needed to tell customers. Consumers, please be patient and kind to the employees.
The best way to help with the coin shortage is to start getting them back in circulation. Take your coins to the bank and exchange them for bills or just deposit them into your account.
We are in this together we want to ensure the economy rebounds and grows and this comes from everyone working together, being patient and understanding of one another, and having clear communication.
Bevis, J. (2020, July 2). 3 ways the pandemic may make some businesses stronger. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbevis/2020/07/02/3-ways-the-pandemic-may-make-some-businesses-stronger/#14b3d3542dd9
Ehling, J. (2020, July 13). COVID-19 pandemic leads to coin shortage across the country. Retrieved from https://abc13.com/coin-shortage-us-pandemic-covid-19-change-coins/6315280/
Elkins, K. (2020, July 17). You may not be able to get change at the grocery store—here’s why. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2020/07/17/why-you-cant-get-change-at-the-grocery-store-coin-shortage.html
Massi, M., Sullivan, G., & Straub, M. (2019, May 28). How cashless payments help economies grow. Retrieved from https://www.bcg.com/publications/2019/cashless-payments-help-economies-grow.aspx
Morris, S. (2020, July 9). Why is There a Coin Shortage in the U.S.? Retrieved from https://www.newsweek.com/why-national-coin-shortage-us-mint-federal-reserve-1516615
Reid, D. (2018, December 19). Millions would be put at risk in a cashless society, research warns. Retrieved from https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/19/millions-would-be-put-at-risk-in-a-cashless-society-research-warns.html
Sorrentino, F. (2019, August 29). The debate over a cashless economy. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/franksorrentino/2019/08/29/the-debate-over-a-cashless-economy/#7010fbd97109
Tasler, N. (2016, September 21). How to get better at dealing with change. Retrieved from https://hbr.org/2016/09/how-to-get-better-at-dealing-with-change