Cash vs Credit

We’ve all been there: heading up to pay a cashier or attendant and then finding out the store or vendor only takes cash. It still happens in some parking locations as well. The owners or operators of the facility do this for a variety of reasons, one of which is the fees associated with credit card payments.

However, did you know it can actually cost more to process cash than it does to process credit cards? While accepting cash only of course eliminates the fees associated with credit cards, there are multiple ways that a cash operation can cost you:

  • Time spent by staff handling and counting the cash. Your staff is a critical part of your operation. And today many operations are running at reduced levels. Your on-the-ground parking staff should be spending their billable hours performing higher and better tasks such as maintenance checks, security assessments, and customer service rather than spending hours counting and rechecking a day’s worth of cash.
  • Time spent by customers. Advancements in parking technology have been able to significantly reduce the amount of time customers have to wait either at the valet stand or at the parking facility exit. Accepting cash increases the time spent at either location and likely the headaches given that many customers now prefer to pay with a credit card and often don’t even carry much cash.
  • Potential fraud. While credit card processing can be at risk of hackers or fraud, this is increased with cash. Operations are not only at the risk of (and the responsibility to spot) counterfeit bills, but it also opens you up to the possibility of staff or thieves stealing from the register.

Cash certainly still has its place in our society. But the idea that it is cheaper to accept cash is not without its problems. In parking, we will likely continue to move toward all cashless operations, and the technologies we have in place are designed to streamline the process and reduce fraud as much as possible.