Counting the cost of cash
Counting the cost of cash
Photo Credit: Mukumbura via Compfight cc


You might think that only taking cash keeps your cash flow simple and your costs down – after all, it’s in the name ‘cash’ flow, right?



But according to PayPal, some of the complications of accepting cash payments could be adding to the real-terms running costs of businesses in ways they don’t immediately realise.


For example, when you accept cash payments, that cash has to go somewhere – and that means counting it all out, bagging it all up, and taking it all to the bank.


You might be able to get the bank to count it for you, but even that is likely to involve some kind of delay before the funds clear into your account.


And even before you get that far, there’s the time taken counting out the money given to you by customers, and counting out their change – both of which have the potential for you to make a mistake and end up out of pocket.


Even if you get your counting right each time, the total cost in terms of time is an estimated 12 days per year.


More than half of PayPal’s survey participants (55%) said they count cash by hand, and 32% employ at least two people whose roles involve regularly counting cash.


Incorporating typical bank charges into the figures, PayPal claim the cost to each small business in the UK is around £942, or roughly two days’ takings.


And overall, the bill for bank charges and time taken to count cash and take it to the bank reaches £2.5 billion across the country.


With an extra estimated £800 million of card sales lost by companies that only accept cash, PayPal are of course using the findings to push their own card processing service, PayPal Here.


But putting their interests to one side, the statistics might make it worthwhile reassessing your own cash flow, and whether accepting another form of payment might secure more sales, cut down on admin time, and improve the traceability of transactions at the same time.


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