The FINANCIAL -- Whether for safety and convenience, innovation, or flat-out hygienic reasons, entrepreneurs and small businesses around the world are embracing cashless technology, and in- turn making life a little bit easier for local consumers and tourists as they travel.
From a hotel in Myanmar, a Southeast Asia country where electronic payments were introduced for the first time last year, to London as a top travel destination, where innovation, speed and convenience matter, MasterCard has found many examples of small business owners and entrepreneurs who have turned to electronic payments. The goal is to differentiate themselves, increase sales, and importantly, keep their customers happy – many of whom are not only local consumers but tourists as well. All of their stories are part of the MasterCard Cashless Pioneers brand-publisher campaign, which highlights the impact of electronic payments among businesses and consumers around the world, according to MasterCard.
“In today’s global, digital world, if your small business is cash-only, you’re going to find yourself out-of-luck and left behind,” said Eugene De Silva, SVP Global Small and Medium Enterprises at MasterCard. “The Cashless Pioneers who shared their stories with us have similar experiences and cite safety, consumer convenience, and increased sales as drivers to accepting electronic payments,” he added.
The following Cashless Pioneers stories from Myanmar, Brazil, London, and the Netherlands, are examples of businesses that have either leapfrogged their competition or strengthened their business by accepting electronic payments – not to mention making local consumers and tourists happy by offering a safe and convenient cashless payment option:
Mauro Joppert – small business owner of Coisa de Carioca – a food café on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro was the first food kiosk operator on the beach to accept electronic payments. And subsequently has ended the “cash-only” trend among other establishments along the beach.
Kyu Kyu Maw – assistant general manager at Chatrium Hotel Royal Lake Yangon in Myanmar, was one of the first hotels in town to allow their guests to settle their hotel bill electronically, providing travelers with greater convenience and security as they can carry around less cash.
Russell Hall – entrepreneur and co-founder of Hailo, the black cab mobile application and taxi driver network in London, recognized that mobile technology had the potential to be game-changing and reinvented the entire taxi experience – from hailing a cab to the actual payment.
Dimitri Roels is the owner of Het Vlaamsch Broodhuys bakery in the Netherlands. His small business is completely cashless, and he states, “I opted for a cashless formula because it seemed a safe, fast and hygienic way to accept payments from clients. Customers do not have to wait for their change, my staff does not have to handle money and bread at the same time, and my employees do not need to make bank deposits at the end of the day,” he added.
Cashless Pioneers is MasterCard’s digital storytelling series that seeks to highlight stories of merchants around the world who are strengthening their business and providing better services through payment technology. The program was launched as a global campaign in 2011, and so far, close to 60 success stories from around the world have been shared, according to MasterCard.