When you look back on how far technology has come in the past two decades, it is easy to find yourself overwhelmed by just how quickly it’s all advanced. Looking forward, we find ourselves now spoilt for choice when it comes to figuring out how best to run our daily business operations and make the most of our facilities. Take security for example; not only are more options becoming available in helping keep sites secure, they are also coming from more unexpected places – cashless payment systems.
Cashless payment systems are fast coming into the fore as our society undergoes a payment revolution; cash is no longer king. Cash payments are in decline and there have been big developments in the way people pay for their goods. The last few years have marked a significant shift from cash payments to cashless transactions that take place in milliseconds. Fumbling for loose change and forgetting pin numbers is swiftly becoming a thing of the past.
Statistics from The Payments Council, who are responsible for ensuring payment services work in the UK, reports that cash accounted for 71% of all payments in the UK 10 years ago. In 2012, the figure had fallen to 54%[i]. Their prediction that the wallet may be obsolete altogether as more payments become electronic, is fast becoming a reality. And with this move, comes the rise of cashless payment systems, which not only offer a much more efficient way of working for universities themselves, it brings numerous added benefits; enhanced security being one of them.
Security is a hugely important facet of any business operation and cashless payment solutions can offer Facilities Managers and University Caterers who integrate payment into student ID badges a superior level of security and knowledge for their premises. A cashless environment means reduced amounts of cash in the tills and vending machines, less overheads on transporting and counting the cash and also less chance of accepting counterfeit money.
Data released by the Bank of England reported that 719,000 counterfeit banknotes were discovered and removed from circulation in 2012[ii] – a worrying figure that serves to highlight the issue counterfeit cash still presents to us in the UK.
Further security benefits include the reduction of paperwork from transactions and lowering your susceptibility to fraud, as well as improving cashless vending by reducing the risk of losing cash through faulty vending equipment and helping to alleviate concerns over the security of the machines themselves.
It’s not only the premises who will also benefit from the enhanced security, but also the students who use the building daily. For students, cashless payment systems are an ideal way to ensure total security of their money; if someone loses their card or token, it can be reported and then easily blocked, protecting the funds loaded onto the account. Adopting a cashless solution in your university also means that students are unable to tell what amounts of money are being carried by another, removing the opportunity for theft.
With more and more Universities adopting cashless payment systems they are coming round to the benefits they can offer, there is no doubt that this could inevitably see the use of physical cash becoming redundant in our daily lives altogether. For example, The British Retail Consortium (BRC) recently revealed that cash use has fallen by 14% in the last five years[iii], with experts predicting that physical currency could cease to exist within 20 years[iv].
A more convenient, efficient and secure method of payment, cashless transactions are quickly becoming ‘the norm’. We believe that in order for Facilities Managers and University Caterers to remain truly competitive in the future, keeping up with the way in which technology is advancing is key – payment technology offers no exception.
We are encouraging Universities to ‘move with the times’ and reap the benefits cashless systems can bring; benefits like increased security which are already enjoyed throughout so many other industries.