by MTHULISI SIBANDA
JOHANNESBURG – BUSINESS should plan for cash being a significant part of their payments mix for longer than anticipated as South Africa’s load shedding crisis slows down migration towards cashless payments.
This is according to an executive as Africa’s most diversified economy endures its worst power crisis in living memory.
Jason Coussens, Currency Management Business Unit Manager at Nashua Kopano, says cash remains “king” in South Africa, with consumer surveys indicating that 95 percent of people withdraw cash at least once a month and that 86 percent still make use of cash for at least some of their transactions.
Nashua Kopano is a provider of total workspace solutions to government and enterprise clients.
While people in urban areas have embraced tap and go, scan to pay, and other digital payments instruments – with adoption soaring during the pandemic – some of these gains are being reversed.
“Load shedding is driving consumers and businesses back to cash because cash transactions aren’t disrupted by electricity or internet connectivity outages,” Coussens said.
Unlike credit card terminals, online payment gateways, and mobile payment apps, which may involve authorisation processes or pending transactions, cash payments provide immediate settlement on the spot.
“They are considered a final transaction, offering certainty without the need for a confirmation of payment,” Coussens said.
More efficient cash management should be on every business’s radar, he said.
Many businesses are still counting notes and coins manually, which exposes them to a higher threat of fraud, error and shrinkage.
Coussens noted today’s automated money counters can count large amounts of money faster and more accurately than a human.
“This makes cash management processes – such as payments in and out of the counter, or daily closing of tills – significantly more secure and efficient, as well as being more cost-effective.”
Automated cash management eases a major operational challenge for companies in a country where cash usage remains high.
“With the right solution in place, enterprises can protect themselves from losses and free their employees from the need to count cash, letting them focus their energies on customer service or helping to grow the business,” Cousens concluded.
– CAJ News