Global retail businesses, irrespective of size, accept payments through multiple modes (cash, card, mobile, internet banking, wallet, etc) but still many of them prefer cash over card to avoid regulatory complexities and hence devoid customers of their shopping rights and experience.
According to a survey by TD Bank recently, globally 70 per cent of SMEs prefer cash and cheques over card or online transactions. Though difficult to handle, cash still rules in most of the Point of sale (POS) counters across several advanced countries in US and UK and also developing countries like India and Brazil.
Retail experts agree that global POS market is still remain scattered and needs to be organized with the help of advanced technology. While the data has revealed that about 20% merchants preferred traditional POS systems, cloud-based POS systems were opted by 17% while 24% retailers accepted online payments.
Earlier, researches on global retail industry had indicated that though merchants and consumers were inclined to use new retail (POS) technology, they preferred cash to other mode of payments.
Consumer preferences and governments’ initiative to support cash-less
payment have compelled retailers to accept all forms of payments, says Doug Mearkle, a senior official from TD Bank, which surveyed over 600 small retailers to understand how they are responding to modern transaction systems, cloud-based POS technology, cashless payment options and receptive to innovative ideas. The business owners surveyed were chosen from across fast growing economies and belonged to industries such as health care, retail, construction and entertainment.
TD Bank has indeed used the survey to create awareness among the merchants as to how various payment options and POS applications can be integrated in a single POS system to enhance business growth and effect customer experience.
As far as India, the digital payment system is fast catching up though there are still some teething problems such as inhibition to shift from conventional to modern business system, acceptance of card payments due to high transaction charges and low penetration of debit/credit cards and online payment options among rural folks.
“POS applications can be integrated into a single system to provide small business owners a potent tool which can perform multiple functions and offer several researched data which they can use for business betterment.
Modern POS systems can provide some crucial business data which retailers can’t get following traditional methods,” says Bhaskar Venkatraman, CEO and Director of Millennium India, a pioneer in introducing POS technology to Indian retail merchants.
For example, a small retailer who sells grocery or ready-made clothing can forecast daily sales and plan to improve sales and profitability. An integrated POS can help him to decide on staff strength on particular day or occasion, understand the inventory position or requirement, number of customers visiting the shop on daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis and individual customer’s buying pattern.
Though small-business owners are aware of the new features and advantages, but still there are some misconceptions and inhibitions which stop the majority of them from adopting the POS innovation, Mearkle concludes.
So to say, it is difficult to “cash” on the modern POS technology to improve business by some retailers!