By Mark Antipof, Chief Officer • Client Relationship Management

August 22, 2017

With the ease and convenience of mobile payments and e-commerce now so ingrained in our everyday lives, I doubt many – if any (particularly if I was asking a millennial!) – would rank cash as the best way to pay and be paid.

Not only can it be costly to manufacture, print and move around so much paper and metal, it’s often expensive and time consuming to handle. There are security risks too – it can be easily lost, stolen or destroyed and it’s difficult to trace.

The safety and efficiency of electronic payments is almost always a better solution for individuals and merchants. Driven by the huge growth in e-commerce and mobile payments, there are more ways than ever to displace the €2.6 trillion ($3.0 trillion) of consumer spending in Europe that’s still done using cash.

We've identified two groups of people who we believe will benefit hugely by moving from cash to e-commerce and mobile – holidaymakers and festival goers.


Large numbers of European holidaymakers still take lots of foreign currency with them when they go abroad, so we’re creating some short ‘Cash is Awkward’ films showing the benefits of using your card abroad as you would at home.

The first two films in the series – ‘Beach’ and ‘Taverna’ – are light-hearted depictions of those embarrassing moments when we’ve put our holiday money in what we think is a safe place – and then struggled to retrieve it. You can watch both right here:

Festival goers

Similarly, the last thing people want to do when they go to a big sports or music event is to spend time queuing at bars or other stalls, which is why Visa and its partners are working hard to give them a better payment experience.

A recent example is this year’s Boardmasters surf and music festival, which took place in Cornwall (UK) between 9-13 August. Here, we worked with our partner, Square, to provide up to 100% card, mobile and wearable payments acceptance across the event for the first time in its 36-year history, thereby ensuring the 150,000 visitors had the ease and convenience of being able to make cashless payments for most on-site purchases.

It wasn’t just the festival-goers at Boardmasters who benefited from the positive card acceptance experience though – the merchants there could serve customers more quickly, whilst also reducing the costs and security risks associated with handling cash. And don’t just take our word for it:

Look out for another Visa Vision article in the next few weeks that’ll focus on Boardmasters from a merchant perspective.

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