Why Cash is no Longer King
Systopia's Karen Lillywhite considers the role of smart technology in transforming the United Kingdom into a largely cash-free society over the last decade.
In August, the Royal Mint (the state-owned mint that produces coins for the United Kingdom) revealed it had cut the number of coins it had put into circulation by nearly half in just four years – from 1.3 billion in 2017 compared to 2.3 billion in 2014.
Earlier this month, the BBC also reported that more than 250 free-to-use cash machines are closing each month across the country, which is only encouraging more consumers to embrace the cashless revolution. We have also seen the social enterprise Greater Change launch an admirable initiative that sees QR codes being issued to the homeless, so people can donate funds via their smartphones.
Alternative payment choice is also growing increasingly popular within the workspace but how can business and facilities managers maximise the opportunities presented by the latest platforms that can be installed in on-site restaurants and canteens.
Increase revenue and reduce queue times
With a growing percentage of the UK population no longer choosing to pay with cash, it is clear that facilities managers need to review their payment amenities to ensure that they are not missing out on a significant amount of sales opportunities. By investing in a comprehensive POS (point of sale) or order and payment system, such as those provided by Systopia, businesses will have a one-stop solution to process all forms of transactions and will no longer be restricted to only offering certain card and cash payments.
The latest payment systems can also integrate with existing ID cards, providing an all-in-one solution that covers security access and payment for food, beverages and other items within the business environment, such as gym usage, dry cleaning , printing and photocopying. This means that staff no longer have to carry cash and can benefit from significantly reduced queueing times with fast payment choices, whilst there are apps being developed that allow workers to manage their account balance and check transaction history, such as our My Systopia solution.
In addition, we recently launched our innovative range of self-service kiosks, which have already proven to increase a consumer’s average order value by 20%, and the feedback we have so far received has been extremely positive. They are also designed to remove queues and the pressure of ordering at the counter, and replicate the speed and convenience offered by high street eateries. This encourages employees to utilise on-site facilities and appeals to those who typically take less time for lunch.
Making informed business decisions
However, order and payment systems aren’t just about facilitating sales - the latest cloud-based technology enables the capture of rich data from every transaction to provide caterers and facilities managers with the ability to analyse use of services and purchasing trends, helping operators to better understand their customers. With this information, we are helping clients to analyse peak serving times, determine the most popular dishes, evaluate how much consumers are spending, and obtaining instant feedback on new items introduced to the menu. By having access to these insights at the touch of a button, caterers and facilities managers can make informed business decisions to streamline operations, boost revenue, and reduce waste.
Connectivity and reducing labour costs
It is vital that an order and payment system – such as our self-service kiosks - can communicate with all the necessary peripheral devices for the management of sales transactions, such as card readers, barcode scanners and receipt printers. Facilities managers must also be given the option of integrating the solution with other devices, such as kitchen monitors and printers, which can improve the efficiency of work flow. This can help companies benefit from increased productivity and a streamlined workforce, which leads to substantial labour cost savings. In addition, our self-service kiosks enable foodservice providers to offer an ‘out of hours’ service, by incorporating functionality that permits secure unattended payments.
With the UK’s transition into a largely cash-free society now gathering pace, it is the perfect opportunity for business and facilities managers to take advantage of the huge strides being made in those order and payment systems that enable all types of transactions plus so much more.
The latest platforms can be used effectively to increase sales within in-house canteens and restaurants, reduce queuing time and enhance the customer experience, as well as providing access to rich data that allows organisations to streamline operations – which is increasingly important at a time of economic uncertainty.