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Paper or Plastic: Why Credit Cards are Preferred over Cash

Posted on 5 May, 2020

eCommerce merchant account

As a merchant, you quickly learn which things you prefer and enjoy the most and which things become a hassle. And many merchants prefer to accept credit cards over cash because of the many benefits of using them. While it’s always good to accept several different payment methods if possible, if you want a stress-free way to accept payments, it may be a better option to choose credit cards.

When you choose credit cards, you can work with a trusted eCommerce credit card processor who will make sure your transactions are safe and secure at all times and give both you and your customers some peace of mind.


Credit Card Benefits

Transactions Are Safer

Credit and debit cards are safer for both customers and merchants for many reasons. For one: it’s much easier to have cash stolen, lost, or misplaced than it is credit and debit cards. It’s also harder to scam someone with a debit card.

There’s a lot of ways money can be counterfeited. If cash gets lost, it can’t be replaced, but if a credit or debit card is lost, it can be canceled and replaced.

Merchants are also able to handle credit or debit card transaction issues more easily. If there is a problem with cash, it can be complicated to deal with. If there is a problem with a credit card, it can be dealt with much faster and more easily, while also (ironically) leaving a paper trail to show proof of transactions.

Transactions Go Through Faster

It’s much faster to use a credit card than money for both the merchant and the customer. Customers do not need to count out cash and change and merchants don’t have to recount it to confirm the correct amount. It’s much faster to simply swipe a card and handle it.

The customer gets out of the store faster or finishes their online shopping faster, and the merchant gets the money in their account faster. Instead of waiting for customers to count out the right amount of money changing and having to take the time to put it into the register and then count back the correct change. This process may not seem like a big deal, but you would be surprised by how much time you can save just using credit or debit cards instead of cash.

Acceptance is Inclusive and Nearly Universal

Not everyone has access to cash or likes to carry it. Almost everyone has a credit or debit card. Accepting cards make it easy for people from all over the world to shop with the merchant and purchase the products. Many people prefer to use credit cards for purchases for their own reasons and don’t carry cash or refuse to use it.

Merchants who accept credit cards are more likely to attract a larger variety of customers and make more sales. This is important for all merchants, but most especially those who are new, starting out, and need to create a customer base quickly. Customers don’t want a hassle; they just want to be able to make their purchases the easiest way possible.

Currency Conversion On-the-Fly

Not everyone who shops is from the same country and has the same currency. When merchants only accept cash, they have to either refuse to take certain currencies, do the exchange themselves, or price their items for each currency that comes along.

This can be both difficult and confusing to merchants – not to mention that it takes up a lot of time. It’s so much easier to accept credit cards because they can be processed for the correct amount in the merchant’s currency – right there and then. There is no need for the merchant to process an exchange or worry about the exchange rate.

Allows For Online Purchases

Online purchases accounted for fourteen percent of all retail sales worldwide in 2019, increasing year over year, and projected to reach 22% by 2023. This is without accounting for the recent surge of online transactions due to the COVID pandemic. It’s simply not possible to accept cash and offer online shopping.

Since many merchants prefer to do business online, it makes sense that they also prefer credit and debit cards. Being able to accept credit cards means that customers can do their shopping online and have their payments authorized quickly leading to them receiving their orders faster and merchants being able to receive their payments automatically.

Process More Sales

Merchants who only accept cash are limited to the ways they can sell items. If they accept cash, they can only do so in person. They may prefer debit or credit card payments because they want to be able to process sales in more ways. Credit and debit cards allow people to pay for their orders online, over the phone, and even with various payment apps. It’s more convenient for customers and merchants.

Increased Cash Flow

While you may think that merchants prefer to have cash in hand, many of them have to deal with the hassle of taking that cash to the bank and depositing it. Very few merchants use the cash directly out of their registers and most use credit or debit cards for their own transactions.

Instead of having to wait for deposits to post in their accounts with cash. When merchants receive credit card payments, the money is deposited directly into their bank account or merchant accounts, so they have access to it immediately and don’t have to take it to the bank for a deposit.


Helps Maintain Social Distancing

We’ve touched on how the new normal with COVID has increased online purchases, but there is certainly a more visceral reason for preferring credit cards over cash: physical contact is altogether removed.

Whether it be through fears of interacting with a potential carrier or the simple fact that there is no physical exchange of “dirty” money (that has probably been everywhere), there is simply no denying that in this new world, card transactions are the best way to do business. And besides, both the merchant and customer might not even have physical cash on the ready because they’ve been avoiding going out for so long.


There Are Some Things Only Actual Money Can Buy, But For Everything Else…

Having actual cash is still, of course, useful, but there’s no doubt that cards are the way of the future and moving forward.  If you have a store or eCommerce merchant account and are looking for a convenient way to process payments and also make your customers happy, you may prefer credit cards to cash. This is a common preference and one most customers are familiar with as well. 

You can use an eCommerce credit card processor to help make your transactions even safer and help you make more money. If you are accepting credit cards and need a processor with great eCommerce merchant services, be sure to consider We are here to help with all your credit card processing needs and will make sure your transactions are protected and safe, so you have less stress and can make more money.

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High Risk Merchant Account Services

Accept all major credit cards

Regardless of Credit History!