With millions of households in the UK turning to cash instead of card payments to help them manage their budget amid the cost-of-living crisis, cash-handling experts Volumatic are advising forecourt businesses to take note and be ready to accept cash payments again.

Many forecourt businesses ‘turned digital’ during the pandemic, convinced by misinformation that cash somehow helped spread the virus, and moved to only accepting card payments. But while many are now accepting cash again as we begin to recover from Covid, there are still some businesses not accepting cash, which means they could find themselves out of pocket and out of favour with customers.

And though many garages have another good reason for wanting to reduce cash usage, with forecourt robberies on the rise across the country - more out of need than want in the current desperate times - now is definitely not the time to be ignoring cash payments.

While it could be argued by those who have gone cashless that they are simply trying to save money by avoiding cash processing and CiT costs, they should also consider the rising cost of card payment fees. Since Brexit, EU laws that capped fees charged by card payment providers disappeared, meaning they will now face higher fees for card transactions, which means excluding cash seems rather unjust.

The fact is that cash usage is spiralling again in 2022 and forecourts need to be able to both accept cash and handle it efficiently. Cash is convenient for so many and gone are the days when businesses had to rely on bulky safes to keep cash secure, and manual cash counting processes at the end of each day.

Volumatic can provide a number of cash handling solutions to suit any forecourt business, from their simple range of CountEasy money counting scales to their innovative solution, the CounterCache intelligent (CCi) - a secure storage device, cash counter and forgery detector in one discrete device, meaning staff only touch cash once until it reaches your bank.

Volumatic MD James Harris said: “Although discussions about the UK becoming a cashless society have been circulating for many years, the reality is that cash is here to stay and so we would urge forecourts to be listening to consumer demand. We’re not against card or digital payments, but we firmly believe cash has a place alongside these.”

“The cost-of-lining crisis is impacting us all in so many ways, but forecourts should be finding ways to support customers rather than potentially turning them away just because they want to use cash. We currently work with PFS groups including Valli Forecourts, MPK Garages and The Kay Group, who all use our cash handling solutions as they realise cash still has an important role to play.”

Following the rollout of the Volumatic CCi across their forecourts, MPK’s retail director Wayne Harrand can certainly recommend the benefits of cash handling solutions: “In terms of theft of cash, we have saved so much money as access to cash is so limited – we’ve cut cash loss by 96%.”Refusing to accept cash means forecourts are at risk of alienating more and more customers when they need more help than ever. And at a time when those in the forecourt industry may also be struggling as fuel prices fluctuate and more people are forced to tighten their belts, it doesn’t make commercial sense for any business out there to be refusing cash payments.