Even though it looks as though much of the western world is headed towards the much-hyped cashless society, there are still some situations where you won’t get anywhere without a few readies at the ready. A the pace of business (and life in general) continues to build, cash emergencies still hold the power to hit companies where it hurts.
We’ve taken a look at some situations where cash is still king, and come up with some helpful suggestions to make sure your business doesn’t get tripped up by any treacherous cash emergencies.
In spite of the apparent hegemony of Uber, and the fact that even London’s famous black cabs take card payments, there are still some taxis that will require payment in cash. If you’re only conducting business in the big cities, this may not be a problem you’ll encounter. But if you’re going to be taking a train to a smaller city, and then heading off to a country (and beautiful) hotel for a residential conference, the chances are that you’ll need to pay for your taxi from the station to the venue in cash.
Even if you’re travelling in the big, dirty city, there’s still a chance that the technology you need to pay for something critical could fail you when you try to pay. There are normally other options to be found elsewhere, but sometimes cash is just far quicker.
Strangely, there are still parking meters even in central London that will only allow you to pay with coins (Regents Park’s Outer Circle on the Crown Estate being one example). Even if you’re parking somewhere that does allow for card payment, it’s often quicker just to put a few coins in the machine than to wait on the phone (or online), registering for yet another infuriating parking system, with voice recognition that doesn’t recognise what your voice actually says.
If you want to give an instant thank you to a porter or hotel concierge who’s done a particularly good job, cash is really the only way to go. Depending on where you are, tips are not optional at all – in the US, for example, tips are essential. Not giving cash tips to staff can negatively impact the service you end up receiving, as well as being generally infra dig.
Smaller merchants, including those very enticing boutique street-food carts, might not have the capacity to accept card payments. Even if they do have it, they might be relying on a mobile connection that could be on the blink. Other shops won’t accept card payments for amounts under £10, so cash might be the only way to go.
If you’re sending junior staff into the field, whether to render services or act as a sales force, they’ll need to be able to pay for basic travel and expense costs just to keep things moving along smoothly. The problem is that, if your company uses the usual credit cards, you might not feel confident giving one to junior staff.
This can then put junior staff in a position where they have to pay for their expenses up front, and then get reimbursed later. Aside from the administrative burden this causes, junior staff may not always have the funds (or credit) on hand via their own personal cards to make the purchases they need for their work. Many companies find that giving junior staff a small cash kitty for work-related travel can act as belt-and-braces, so that their employees are never left high and dry.
Back in the days of coin-operated pay phones, Brownies and Scouts were taught always to have a 10p coin with them (together with an elastic band and some plasters), so that they could always call home if they got into trouble.
Phones have come a long way (as has the 10p coin), but the principle still applies.
Even with the best will, and the best technology, in the world, it’s always good to be prepared.
If you (or your staff) are frequently travelling out of the office, whether domestically or internationally, it’s a good idea to make a cash kitty an essential part of your company’s expense policy.
Clearly, paying with cash is less than ideal in business situations, because it’s untraceable and can create an administrative nightmare replete with mysteries and lost receipts.
Having said that, giving staff a small amount of cash – even just £30 – and instructing them to only use it in emergencies, is a prudent way to go.
Once you know that they’ve got the money they’ll need to fend off any cash emergencies, you can then make sure that they’re taking their company Soldo card with them everywhere they go.
With Soldo, you can withdraw money for a simple £1 fee, and use your card at any ATM that displays the Mastercard® logo – that’s over 1.5 million ATMs worldwide, including a couple in Antarctica.
Soldo tracks spending automatically, and you (or your employees) can use the free app to capture receipts, and add notes and tags to transactions on the spot. What’s more, Soldo’s free instant money transfers go a long way to ensuring that cash emergencies are a thing of the past.