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Who wants to pay with money anyway?

Money. It’s so 2015.

The modern cyber-bod will tell you Bitcoin signalled the beginning of the end for the cold hard cash we still occasionally hand over the counter. Be it online payments, contactless card or contactless mobile payments, people are using alternative methods of payment. If you’re guilty of having a sign in your shop that says “WE ONLY ACCEPT CASH” it’s time to evolve to align with consumer behaviour. Here are some of the most popular cash-free methods of payment:


It all started with PayPal. Online transactions were something of a minefield in the early days. Consumers were unsure about typing all their valuable details into an unknown website and on top of that, it was a hassle. PayPal was one of the first online payment systems to really gain the trust of the online public and make paying for things online extremely easy. PayPal has become a mark of trust and security and the good news is adding a PayPal button to your website is simple. Just set up an account and embed the provided code and hey presto, you can start taking payments.

Contactless Payment

Then came the contactless revolution. The first time RFID (Radio Frequency Identification Device) technology hit the mainstream was the Oyster Card you use on London’s underground system. Then, excitingly, the banks started to adopt RFID. Nowadays, if you don’t have a contactless debit or credit card, you get irritated looks from people waiting to pay because you’re wasting precious seconds of their time. According to Barclaycard, there are over 58.2 million contactless cards in circulation. It seems that putting your pin into a card machine has almost become a nostalgic treat.

Here’s some more good news. Setting your business up to take contactless payments is easy and relatively cheap. Try using a company like the start-up iZettle.

Apple Pay and Samsung Pay

But why get your wallet out at all? It seems initial hesitance about the security of contactless payment has been enthusiastically swept away by sheer convenience. Now contactless payment from your phone is hitting Britain’s high streets. It’s fair to say that Apple Pay has paved the way in this field. Coming as standard you simply register your card with your handset and when it comes to pay for your items just hold your phone against the receiver with your thumb on your phone’s fingerprint sensor. Samsung have followed suit with its own offering and LG Pay is on the horizon. The third piece of good news in this article is if you have a contactless payment machine you can accept Apple Pay and Samsung Pay.


Bitcoin is best left alone unless you really understand its complexities but it is certainly an interesting experiment into living in a cash-free culture. Bitcoin describes itself as “an innovative payment network and a new kind of money”. Essentially it is digital money existing exclusively online as a kind of encrypted currency. There are some online merchants who accept Bitcoin payment but it is an unstable currency that comes with a host of negatives as well as positives.

Swapping websites

Sometimes the simplest way is the best way. That’s why some consumers and small businesses have taken cash out of the equation altogether. How? By bringing back the art of swapping. Swapz claims to be the “UK’s biggest, most established and original marketplace” for swapping items. This website and others like it allow you to post a listing of your item along with an approximate value then negotiate a swap with an item you desire of a similar value. Traditional, useful, heart-warming and environmentally friendly. What’s not to love?

If your business needs any help to install things like contactless payment systems get in contact using the button below.

For free, impartial business tech help and advice, why not book a session with an O2 Guru? They’re available online, in store and over the phone.

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