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Five reasons to go cashless

Five key reasons why universities and colleges in particular should adopt a 'less cash' strategy.
There is no doubt about it; we are heading towards becoming a cashless society. When this will happen is open to debate and is likely to be a few years away yet. In the meantime, there is definitely a case for using less cash, and in this blog we’ll outline five key reasons why universities and colleges in particular should adopt a ‘less cash’ strategy now

Customer satisfaction – You can read this as students/parents on one side and your staff on the other. For students a cashless environment offers many opportunities to improve engagement and a sense of belonging. They benefit from a ubiquitous payment environment where they’re able to make payments quickly and easily without having to think about which payment methods are accepted in which locations. It also incentivises them to stay on campus – why spend on the high street when you already have funds in your campus account? They love being early adopters of new solutions and technologies, they won’t need to spend ages queuing, the list goes on… From a parent’s perspective, they can add funds to their child’s account with the reassurance that these funds can only be spent on campus. This ability to add funds is particularly important for international students who often find it difficult to open a UK bank account and often arrive in the UK with £1000s in cash. Staff satisfaction rises as less cash is handled, they benefit from only having one system to manage, their sense of security improves and they can deliver quicker service times in food outlets and manage their stocks more effectively. You can learn more about the student and organisation benefits in a previous blog – click here).

Increase Revenue – Increasing revenue by improving service delivery is good. This gives you the ability to re-invest additional income into further facility improvements or lets you pass it back to your students by way of promotions or loyalty schemes that not only encourages take up but ensures students feel they’re receiving value for money, which has got to be a win, win all round.

Improved Management – With a central transaction database deployed administrators and managers have a clear overview of transactional data from all points of sale, all held in one place. Whether that is from food outlets, print and copy, booking a squash court or buying event tickets, having this clear view ensures data driven strategies can be implemented. Service delivery improvements are made based on substantiated need and proof, this in turn contributes to cost saving efficiencies, which are likely to be needed even more in the light of the recent Brexit vote and the uncertainty surrounding the continuation of EU funding for higher education.

Administration – Cash costs money, yes it really does! It costs to insure, count, store, manage and transport. Cash is also risky, it attracts crime and is open to fraudulent activity (take a look at our White Paper, ‘Going cashless in universities and colleges’ for some interesting facts and figures around costs, fraud and counterfeiting – click here and go to page 5). Cash handling is prone to human error, more so than any other payment method. So, by going cashless you will remove most of these costs and risks. Staff productivity improves, as does their sense of security. In addition, when all on campus spend is recorded centrally your staff have less systems to manage and report on. Having one central system to manage has been shown to reduce operational costs by up to 8%. Student’s ‘admin’ time is reduced as well, they benefit from managing all their campus spending through one central online portal, here they can check balances, add funds, allocate to sub accounts and have an overview on what they are spending money on.

Integration – Most cashless systems are not designed to integrate which will often leave institutions with many systems to manage and a cashless strategy lacking focus. However, by utilising a system designed to integrate is where the best cashless solution really will pay dividends, by bringing together your cashless payment solution with other non-pay services you’re on the road to Utopia. Your cashless identifier (be that an ID card or mobile app) becomes the key that unlocks a range of other services such as  physical access to buildings and rooms, attendance recording, sports membership, bursary distributions, PC and room bookings etc. For the organisation this integration approach protects investments in existing systems/infrastructure and ensures they are used to their fullest potential to deliver a coherent campus-wide cashless strategy.

If you’d like to explore these five key reasons to go cashless in more details then please get in touch, either by emailing Neil Bellerby at neil.bellerby@monitorit.co.uk or calling 01494 565666
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