Cash Only vs. Credit Card Acceptance

Things to consider on what’s best for your business

As a small business, accepting ‘cash only’ has some obvious benefits. In many cases, the idea is “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” However, with card acceptance getting more accessible and faster with value-added services, many ‘Cash Only’ businesses miss out on time, additional revenue, and services.

Cash Only: Despite the digital revolution, many businesses are still thriving by accepting cash only. Here are a few things to consider with a ‘Cash Only’ business.

  1. No processing costs – As a small business, processing fees (averaging 2-3%) cut into your profit margins. However, with the cost of doing business today already being high, every penny saved is a penny earned. It takes time to accept cash, distribute change, reconcile the totals, and make the deposits. In many cases, this neutralizes the money saved from paying for processing fees.
  1. Cash in hand– Once you get paid cash, the transaction is final, and your money is available for use or deposit—no potential customer disputes or waiting a day for the deposit of your money. You usually have to wait a day for your deposit to hit the bank with accepting credit card transactions. In addition, customers can dispute charges after the transaction takes place. However, EMV and in-person transactions are a significant safeguard against disputes.
  1. Taxes– Without an electronic record of your sales, it is easy for a business to underreport their taxable income (which is illegal).   

Below is a list of often unconsidered costs of cash-only acceptance.

  • Time and costs of cash in transit to go to the bank and make deposits
  • Time to distribute change to the customer adds up
  • Time taken to count and reconcile the cash drawers with POS or register tools
  • Time preparing and coordinating deposits
  • Cost of theft and fraud. Cash that disappears
  • Costs of redoing counts, auditing tills.
  • As people keep less cash, sales will be limited to the amount they hold

Digital Payments/Card Payments: The digital revolution is here to stay. With the ability to accept credit cards becoming more accessible and cheaper, here are a few reasons why a ‘Cash Only’ business should consider card acceptance.

  1. Time is money! Automated reporting of all transactions and direct deposits into your bank processing cards will save a business a lot of time. Two seconds is the average amount of time it takes to process an EMV transaction. Small businesses surveyed took an estimated 540 hours to process $100,000 in cash compared to the 188 hours it took to process the same amount in digital payments. Using digital payment transactions, businesses save 3x the amount of time, allowing you and your employees to focus your efforts elsewhere!  
  • Larger customer base with more funds available– As more and more consumers move towards cashless payments, the odds of missing out on sales are increasing. Open tabs and credit cards that provide customers access to more funds tend to spend more money.
  • Surcharging– This feature is available to many businesses to add an extra fee or tax to the customer for a good or service to help cover processing costs.
  • Growth programs and services to help grow your business– Did you know you could get cash for your business based upon your monthly processing volume that you pay back through your daily batches? You can also get transaction analytics to give you a detailed report on whether your customers are locals or out-of-towners. This report tells you where else they shop and how your business stacks up to your competition, giving you critical information to help you make smarter business decisions. With the competitive nature of business, these services offer a tremendous competitive edge.

Bottom line: If your business accepts cash-only payments and it works, there may be no need to change a thing. However, if you’re looking to increase your income and expand your customer base, credit card acceptance is the first thing to consider. The time saved on accepting cash, distributing change, reconciling the funds, and making the deposits streamlines your business and saves you money on time compared to the processing fees.

Near-instant payments and automated deposits make you more efficient. In addition, with customers having more access to more funds through their credit cards, they spend more money. If you’re still concerned about the fees associated with accepting credit cards, go with a cash discount or surcharge program. With the value-add services available, from accepting credit cards such as cash advances based upon processing volume to expanding your operation and reports that allow you to make decisions based upon data you can’t get with cash, accepting cards is the way to go!

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Business Smart Credit Card

How it works

A portion of your daily settlement is split between your Credit Kick Start Business account and your regular bank account.  Funds deposited to the Credit Kick-Start account are posted as a credit balance and are available for immediate use.

  • Accept Payments the same as always

  • No disruption to your daily operations

  • Requires no personal guarantee

  • Card issued in your business name

  • Add a new line of credit to an existing line of credit. 

Cash Advance For Processing

How it works
  1. We determine your maximum cash advance by looking at the average amount of card sales you’ve had in the last 6 months, and the strength of your business.
  2. Once you’ve received your cash advance, we set up automatic deductions from your daily card sales. Payments are a fixed percentage of your daily processing volume. Payments rise and fall at the same rate as your processing volume.
  3. With a reasonable credit history and a good track record of card sales, you have a good chance of qualifying for this simple, easy source of working capital – even if you’ve been turned down by your bank or leasing company.


Is this a loan?  No. This product is similar to accounts receivable factoring. Your future credit card sales is purchased for immediate cash in your account.

I have problems with my credit. Can I still get my cash? This product relies on real business performance rather than credit to evaluate applicants. This pragmatic approach allows any stable business to qualify for an advance.

Is this a one time only program?  No.  We are pleased to provide renewal transactions with our merchants.  Many merchants qualify for additional funding within 60 – 90 days. 

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See how you stack up

View your sales figures by type and compare them to historical data and other businesses in your area.

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