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Visa Announces 50 Small Business Winners of the Visa Cashless Challenge

While Visa aimed this contest at retail stores, it is a reminder of how much the U.S. economy is transitioning to a more cash-free economy.

The variety of cash-free offerings such as tap and pay, contactless payments, digital wallets, and instant transfer apps continues to reduce the necessity for consumers to carry cash.

However, there is still a large number of unbanked or underbanked shoppers that only use cash and these technologies will have to find better ways to embrace those folks.

Amazon and PayPal seem to lead the way in that category as they offer reloading of balances at convenience stores.

Here is the Press Release from Visa

Visa today announced the 50 winners of the Visa Cashless Challenge. The contest asked small businesses in the food-service category to explain how the cashless movement could benefit their business for a chance to win a monetary prize.

Each winning business received $10,000 they can use to assist in their plans for digital commerce enhancements, point-of-sale upgrades, marketing efforts and other business improvements.

Small business owners said some of the top reasons their businesses prefer cash-free payments include efficiency at the point-of-sale, increased security for employees and reduced overall costs.

“Going cashless was a major key to helping our local dessert business activate at a large 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 Andre Andrews of Dre’s Water Ice and Ice Cream in Philadelphia, PA.

“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 received entries from across the United States and across a variety of food-service businesses, including coffee shops, food trucks, full-service and quick-service restaurants and juice bars. Winners were chosen based on video submissions that showed positive impact to employees, their businesses, as well as originality, creativity and passion.

“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 global product and solutions, Visa Inc.

“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.”

Momentum Continues Toward Cash-Free Future

Embracing digital payments can improve businesses’ bottom line and improve customer experiences, according to small business expert and author Melinda Emerson. In her new book, Fix Your Business, Emerson highlights the benefits of going cashless.

Small business owners across the country see true benefits in moving towards a world more reliant on digital payments,” said Emerson. “Whether it be reduced insurance costs, time saved not having to rectify drawers, or increased efficiency at the point-of-sale, going cash-free is a great way for small business owners to make their lives easier—something everybody needs.”

“We spend a lot of time counting and recounting cash. If time is money, cash is expensive,” said Phil Van Overeem of Doomie’s NextMex in Los Angeles.

Since the launch of the Visa Cashless Challenge in 2017, the restaurant segment has continued to embrace the move toward a cash-free future. Restaurants such as Dos Toros and Delaney Chicken have since transitioned to cashless environments.

To help small businesses become more digitally enabled, Visa will release research later this spring, which will look at digital transformation barriers and opportunities through understanding the ways U.S. consumers and small businesses conduct commerce, make/receive payments and the costs and benefits associated with these transactions.

“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,” continues Forestell.

“Visa is continuing to work with its partners on solutions that will help consumers and businesses prepare for the move towards a cashless future.”

For a full list of the Visa Cashless Challenge winners and how Visa is enabling the cashless movement, please visit

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