British Airways have instituted a new policy of annoying customers like me by making them pay for coffee. Although, to be fair, it was Marks & Spencer coffee and it was much nicer than the usual BA coffee. Naturally they didn't take cash.
They are not unusual in the respect. Lots of airlines don’t take cash. What a nightmare it would be to try and manage cash on board a plane. Time-consuming and pointless. Of course, it’s time-consuming and pointless in other retailers too. Perry Kramer, vice president and practice lead at consultant Boston Retail Partners, contends that as many as four-fifths of retailers today are already largely cashless.
“Retailers don’t really want to be banks. It’s not their sweet spot,” he says. “It is much less expensive to process credit and debit than it is cash, because cash has a lot of labor involved.”
Indeed it does. And that labour might be more profitably redeployed doing something more useful to the business, such as serving customers.
The company says that employees can perform 5% to 15% more transactions every hour when they don’t have to handle money.
Those are pretty substantial savings. I’ve often wondered why places like Pret, places that have multiple points-of-service, don’t already have cash-only lanes because it’s noticeably faster to “tap and go” (even if you have to stand around waiting for the checkout clerk to light up the terminal and for the super-slow printer to chunter out a receipt) than it is to hand over a fiver and wait for change. Of course, what would be faster still is to not use anything at all.
The move away from cash might also steer more people onto the Sweetgreen app. Over the last year, app use has grown 95%, says the company. Roughly a third of the business is run through the app
The apps are getting smarter too. For a retailers, it must be much more attractive to have you buying things
Domino’s Pizza, which launched a "zero-clicks" pizza ordering app earlier this year. In the past, the company has baked ordering into Facebook Messenger, Twitter, Siri, Amazon’s Echo, Google Home, smart televisions, and even Ford Sync. In the third quarter this year, Domino’s revenue grew 16.9% year-over-year.