04 JUN 2023

The cashless effect


Studies worldwide confirm that business growth is linked to the acceptance of digital payments.

“People nowadays prefer to pay digitally, and if we don’t offer this facility, we lose sales opportunities.” Three local businesses that have nothing in common except perhaps that they belong to the SME category (Small and Medium Enterprises) have come to the same conclusion: payment acceptance by cards or QR codes (mobile payment) increases sales.

Tarun Oogarah, a director of NSK Company in Quatre Bornes, an importer and retailer of custom jewellery, says that growth in sales can be clearly attributed to cashless payments. “As a general rule, people who pay by card will buy whatever takes their fancy, whereas those paying cash will be limited by the amount they’re carrying”, he says.

A small noodles and Dim Sum outlet operating in the capital accepts payments by QR code but not cards. In the food business, especially when it’s located in what is known locally as a “food court”, not accepting digital payments means your customer will move on to the next food stall, regardless of how mouth-watering your chow may be. “We only accept MCB Juice, not cards. Many people ask to pay by çard, and we’ve had to turn away a few customers because we’re not equipped to accept cards. MCB Juice has definitely helped in growing the business as more people have mobile apps”.

At Quins Self-Service in Montagne Blanche, people from near and far do their grocery shopping. The grocery store is open until late, even on Sundays and public holidays, and the shop’s parking is seldom empty. If the owners are not particularly enamoured with having to pay bank charges when they accept payment by card, especially on items that fall under the controlled prices category, refusing payment by card is not an option. “The impact on sales would definitely be felt”, they say. Requests for mobile payments are not overly popular at Quins.

Unbeknownst to our interlocutors, the whys and wherefores of these observations are well documented. Global payments trends indicate an acceleration in the adoption of digital payments that is now irreversible. Mauritius, where digital payments have been growing at a steady rate of 20% for the past two years, is no exception to this movement. In 2022, 100,000 more MCB customers performed a digital payment for the first time. This trend shows no sign of relenting, suggesting, on the other hand, that there is a push effect from consumers, who are increasingly expecting to be able to pay digitally wherever and whenever they want.

The conclusion is clear: it has become imperative for SMEs to be part of the digital payments ecosystem if they don’t want to be left out. While small businesses have historically seen digital payments mainly in terms of cost, there seems to be a shift in the younger generation's mindset. The data, as evidenced by the testimonies above, in fact, prove that the benefits of accepting digital payments far outweigh the associated costs: not only is there a positive impact on sales but also a gain in efficiency as less time is spent on counting, securing and depositing cash.

Subscribe to our Email Alerts

Stay up-to-date with our latest releases delivered straight to your inbox.


Don't hesitate to contact us for additional info

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Email alerts

Keep abreast of our financial updates.