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Traditional payments keep their hold over new options

Cash has always been a popular payment option, and if new surveys that indicate consumer sentiment hold true, businesses will need to invest in a new cash and check scanning machine to handle an influx of paper transactions. Recent data breaches and growing concerns over unsecured web purchases have drawn more people to cash and checks, and many are claiming they prefer to complete transactions with these payment options.

Many reluctant to switch to new payment options
A new survey from electronic payment provider Compass Plus revealed many shoppers are still happy with cash and hesitant about the latest payment technologies. The research indicated a mere 9 percent of people had used a contactless card in the last month. This hints that these cards, which can be waved over a reader at a point of sale rather than swiped, aren't catching on very quickly with shoppers. Almost 40 percent of those surveyed had no idea what contactless payments were, and those who did named them the least secure payment method, showing it will be difficult for these transactions to unseat the popularity of cash, especially since 93 percent of respondents had withdrawn cash from an ATM in the last month.

Contactless payments are slow to catch on with consumers, but completing transactions via smartphone are even less popular. The survey showed only 4 percent of people had used a mobile device to make a purchase in the previous month, despite the growing prevalence of such tools.

Many want to pay with cash online
Credit cards are a popular option for online purchases, which have skyrocketed in recent years. However, they may not be the option most shoppers prefer. A poll by e-commerce solution Ukash found many of those who shop on a company's website would prefer to pay with cash. Fifty-two percent of those between the ages of 18 and 24 claimed they would do so if given the opportunity, while 30 percent of all consumers said the same. This marks a significant area in which online retailers can improve their offerings and better serve customers, as most don't offer a cash payment option.

To better handle shoppers who are unwilling to use the latest payment options, companies could see a significant benefit from employing a cash counting machine and check scanner. This will ensure consumers know their payment preferences are being taken into account and will remember they won't have to complete a transaction in a manner they are uncomfortable with.

June 5, 2013