As an up and coming product manufacturer, you may or may not have heard of the term “cashless.” No, I don’t mean cashless as in broke and waiting for the next check from your investor, but cashless as in tangible currency no longer being necessary or relevant.
The Future? Or Just a Trend?
You have definitely heard of “cashless” if you live in Europe, and you most likely live cashless everyday. Many European countries are quickly transitioning into becoming completely cashless societies. Sweden is leading the pack with only 2% of all transactions being cash transactions. Retailers are legally entitled to deny cash, buses haven’t accepted cash for years, and most banks don’t even keep cash on hand.
Other countries like Norway, Denmark, and Finland aren’t far behind Sweden’s leading example. Cards are leading in transactions, with mobile apps also on the rise.
What About the United States?
Even in the United States, several music festivals like Lollapalooza, Shaky Knees and Coachella have all recently started to offer a cashless option in the form of a scan-able wristband or mobile app. As a personal music lover and festival goer, I was skeptical at first. However, I quickly realized that people who were cashless would not be risking losing their cash or having it stolen from them. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise to see that many people are now doing this, especially when it can be done with a click of a button. Going cashless is clearly becoming increasingly popular, not just for music festivals, but for lots of other things too. It just makes sense as it means that your money is more secure. You can pay online for almost anything now, like food, tickets, and even bitcoin if you are so inclined. I mean, all you have to do is start using Paypal for bitcoin and you’re good to go. It’s crazy how easy it is going cashless, but it’s actually very worth it. And it’s not going to stop anytime soon.
Mobile apps for payment transactions are also on the rise in the US. Apps like Venmo act as a digital wallet that easily allows you to link your Venmo account to your bank account. Once your accounts are linked, you can easily send or receive payments to your friends for bills, emergencies, etc. You can even label what the payments are for, and even see what others are paying for, making the experience social and fun.
There are also mobile payment apps for business owners. For example, if you own a laundromat, thanks to the ShinePay app, you can now manage your laundry business remotely. This has huge benefits and increases your freedom as a business owner. Many are, in fact, looking to implement this into their existing business structure. Some have needed to put their websites under further testing to ensure their systems do not get overloaded from this (with being commonly cited for this), but otherwise it has been a mostly smooth transition for companies as a whole.
As a product manufacturer, you can use PayPal or Square reader to take payment from customers for purchase of goods at a trade show and other similar events.
What Does This Mean for Product Manufacturers?
Cashless could mean several things for product manufacturers, but most importantly, it could mean opportunity. I say “could” because it will only be an opportunity for those ready to take it seriously and embrace it. Since this is all still such a new concept, technology development alone could be a huge opportunity for manufacturers. This includes devices like wristbands (like those used at music festivals), mobile app development, and development of the technology that will do the scanning (like grocery store scanners that read barcodes), all of which could be sold to various retailers. The possibilities are endless, really.
Moral of the Story
Cashless isn’t going anywhere, cash is, and we will be seeing more and more cashless options in the United States as time goes on. I applaud the music festival industry and other companies already making successful efforts- they are truly putting themselves ahead of the game.
This blog post was written by Stephanie Trudell, our Brand Ambassador Intern here at Retailbound. You can reach Stephanie at