Food and Beverage

Is Cash Dead in the Hospitality Sector? - By Sarah Clelland

The burger chain Shake Shack recently made headlines when it announced plans to open its first completely cashless restaurant in New York.

Oracle Hospitality

The burger chain Shake Shack recently made headlines when it announced plans to open its first completely cashless restaurant in New York.

Many other coffee shops, restaurants, and other hospitality operations around the world are making the same move. Cash brings a number of challenges to food service outlets; the cost of cashing up and banking every day, the lack of personalization options (as cash is anonymous), hygiene, and theft.

Illustration - Cashless transactions conceptHowever, the biggest issue for food service operators is speed. Guests want to be able to pay for food and drink quickly, and cash has become the slowest payment option thanks to the arrival of mobile payment and the simplification of EMV/Chip & PIN/contactless card processing.

So is cash dead for hospitality operators? Are we getting close to the day when we can move exclusively to electronic payment methods?

In our new report, Is Cash Dead In the Hospitality Sector? We asked over 15,000 consumers around the world about their use of cash and other payment methods in restaurants and other food service outlets.

The key takeaways:

  • Only a third of global consumers think that cash will definitely still be used in restaurants and other hospitality outlets by 2022
  • 54% of consumers expect to use cash less themselves over the next 5 years
  • 47% of consumers expect to use mobile payment and digital wallets more

The overall conclusion, according to Stuart Taylor, Senior Director of Global Payments at Oracle Hospitality, is that flexibility is key.

“At Oracle Hospitality, we aim to deliver two key things to our customers: payment flexibility and payment security.”

“Flexibility is essential. The hospitality sector isn’t the only industry facing the eventual disappearance of cash – economists and governments have been assessing the option for many years for reasons relating to crime and other drivers. So there are macro-environmental factors at play.”

“But what this report shows is that while guests of all ages are planning to use more mobile payment and less cash in coffee shops and restaurants and hotels over the next few years, plenty of millennials and pre-millennials still think that cash will be accepted in 2022.”

“So the conclusion for any hospitality operator is: Retain flexibility so you can adopt the payment mechanisms that work for you in your countries, and keep things simple as you move towards more electronic payment methods by reducing your PCI scope with a POS partner like Oracle Hospitality.”

Read the report Is Cash Dead In the Hospitality Sector? Or contact us at OracleHosp_ww@oracle.com for more information. 



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