Visa, the payments company, announced Thursday (March 29) the 50 winners of the Visa Cashless Challenge, in which small businesses in the food service industry were tasked with explaining how the cashless movement would benefit their business. Each winning business received $10,000 to use for digital commerce enhancements, point-of-sale (POS) upgrades, marketing efforts and other business improvements, Visa said in a press release.
According to Visa, some of the small-business owners said the main reasons they prefer cash-free payments include efficiencies at the POS, increased security for employees and a lowering of costs. Visa received entries from small businesses in the food service industry across the country, including coffee shops, food trucks, full-service and quick-service restaurants, and juice bars.
The winners were chosen based on their video submissions, Visa noted. “When we launched the Visa Cashless Challenge, we wanted to inspire and inform merchants on the benefits and effectiveness of going cashless,” said Jack Forestell, head of Visa’s global product and solutions. “Since announcing the challenge, we have continued to see businesses across the country go cash-free, and Visa is committed to tapping into our innovation and technology for merchants to remain competitively connected to their consumers.”
Andre Andrews of Dre’s Water Ice and Ice Cream in Philadelphia — one of the contest winners — said that going cashless has helped his business run during a multi-day event in Philadelphia. “We were able to observe our inventory and keep top-selling flavors in stock, cut down wait time for customers to processing every 32 seconds and reconcile our books easier at the end of the event,” said Andrews. “We are excited to win the Visa Cashless Challenge and use the prize money to implement the same digital technologies used at the event into our store and better serve our customers.”
Visa first launched the Visa Cashless Challenge last year and, since then, the restaurant industry has continued to embrace the march toward a cash-free future. According to Visa, such restaurants as Toros and Delaney Chicken have since moved to a cashless environment.
According to Visa, it will release new research in the spring that will help small businesses become more digitally-enabled.
“While we see a cash-free future on the horizon, we also realize the challenges that exist in making sure unbanked consumers have access to cashless payment methods and making sure the system is as inclusive as possible,” Forestell said. “Visa is continuing to work with its partners on solutions that will help consumers and businesses prepare for the move towards a cashless future.”