Receiving cashless payments

Learn how to receive cashless payments as a business and for your personal account

Receiving cashless payments

Learn how to receive cashless payments as a business and for your personal account

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For people who run their own business or are self-employed, the move towards a cashless society means that understanding how to receive cashless payments is more important than ever. Fewer and fewer people using cash than ever, and with a push towards using more contactless payments for security reasons, we’ve pulled together some of the more important points on how to receive money without physical payments.

To help you find the information you need, we’ve split the advice between that which will be useful for personal account holders looking to use cashless payments and business who want to accept cashless payments.

For personal account holders

Receiving cashless payments has made it easier than ever for us to transfer money to people we know, and here we look at the benefits and how to get started.

For personal account holders

Receiving cashless payments has made it easier than ever for us to transfer money to people we know, and here we look at the benefits and how to get started.

Benefits of using cashless payments

When transferring money to friends and family, many people are still stuck in the habit of heading to the cashpoint and getting money out. However, there are plenty of benefits to choosing to receive your money via a cashless transfer.

  • Faster - sending money via an app or other online methods takes just a few moments and can be done from anywhere
  • Safer - money is sent securely so there’s no risk of the physical cash being lost or stolen
  • Cleaner - it’s estimated that at least 53% of all notes and coins are contaminated with bacteria, making cashless transfers the much more sanitary option

Sharing account details to receive money

A lot of people can get nervous when sharing their bank details in order to receive money as they wonder whether or not it’s safe. The answer is that it is completely safe as long as you’re sharing the right details. The only details you need to share to receive money are:

  • Account number
  • Sort code

Your account number is eight digits long and your sort code is six digits long and will usually have dashes between the numbers (e.g. 11-22-33). You’ll never need to share your card number (the 16-digit number on your card), so if someone asks for this, do not give it to them. If they insist this is the only way to make a payment, they could be attempting to steal your card number.

For businesses

More customers are now looking to go cashless, which means getting set up to receive cashless payments is a great way to make sure you don't miss out on any potential business.

For businesses

More customers are now looking to go cashless, which means getting set up to receive cashless payments is a great way to make sure you don't miss out on any potential business.

Accepting contactless using contactless card readers

Many companies and freelancers were moving towards cashless business models even before the outbreak of coronavirus. For this reason, there are plenty of contactless card readers that are cheap and relatively easy to use.

Most of the better contactless card readers on the market cost less than £35, although it’s worth checking whether the model you’re interested in is available to buy or to rent. Depending on your business, you might want to compare the models to see which has features to suit your needs. Some of these features include:

  • Transaction fees
  • Maximum transaction limits (for individual purchases and total per day)
  • Battery life
  • Smartphone compatibility (for the merchant)
  • Apple Pay and Google Pay compatibility (for the customer)

You’ll typically pay a charge between 1.5% and 3% for each transaction on a contactless. This may seem like a fair chunk of your profit, but it’s worth considering that banks will usually charge you to pay in cash and that you might notice an increase in customers and purchases once you switch to contactless.

If you want to test out how going contactless will affect your business, you could rent a contactless card reader for a month or two and see how your revenue is affected.

Sharing account details to receive payments

To receive money via a bank transfer, self-employed people can use the same method as given above and get paid by sharing their account number and sort code. Alternatively, you can also use a service such as PayPal which allows you to set up an online account and request payments from customers.