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A Guide to the Cash Discount Program for Liquor Stores

If you run a liquor store or similar businesses, you know how important every dollar that comes into your business is. Moreso, every dollar you could have saved and didn’t can do a number on your profit margins and the sustainability of your business.

As a small business owner, you are constantly looking for ethical ways to save costs, get customers through the door and leave them happy.

However, your chances of achieving this get slimmer as the costs of running a business steadily soar. One way business owners can save money is by eliminating monthly credit card processing fees.

But this might seem nearly impossible as many customers opt to pay for purchases with their credit or debit cards, incurring huge card processing bills for the business.

However, your business needs to accept credit cards to remain relevant in this increasingly cashless economy. There are several upsides to the cash discount program, as it can help you increase your bottom line without sending customers away.

This article contains all you need to know about the cash discount program, its benefits, and its alternatives. Here’s our guide to the cash discount program for liquor stores.

What Is the Cash Discount Program?

A Guide to the Cash Discount Program for Liquor Stores

The cash discount program is a program implemented by businesses that grants discounts to customers who pay with cash. A store or business running a cash discount program bills card-paying customers the advertised or posted price, which includes a service fee, while granting cash-paying customers discounts.

Cash discount programs are implemented to encourage customers to pay for products and services with cash instead of their credit cards.

This program was first popular at gas stations, and customers who paid with cash paid less than card-paying customers who paid the advertised prices. Cash discount programs allow businesses like liquor stores to avoid paying excessive card processing fees monthly.

In a cash discount program, you’re not raising the prices of your products but letting your patrons choose between paying regular prices with their credit cards or lower prices with cash. Since carrying cash is no longer popular, the model incentivizes your customers to carry cash and make cash purchases, eliminating credit card processing fees.

The extra amount that a customer pays in a card transaction covers all or most of the fees for their transaction. Setting up a cash discount program for your business is simple and quick, and you can start running a cash discount program in just a few hours or days after signing up.

If you run a liquor store or any similar business, cash discounts could help you save a ton of money every month and even keep customers coming through your doors. Running a cash discount program for your liquor store has several advantages for your business.

Here are some of the benefits of the cash discount program.

Benefits of the Cash Discount Program for Liquor Stores

There are numerous benefits to running the cash discount program in your liquor store or small business.

Offset Card Processing Fees

Paying the dreaded card processing costs every month can be the bane of your small business. The cash discount program’s first and most useful benefit is that it reduces or completely eliminates the dreaded card processing fees your business has to pay.

If you run a cash discount program in your liquor store, more of your customers would prefer paying cash to access lower prices. When more customers pay cash, this reduces your monthly card processing fees.

Also, customers who pay with credit cards get to pay slightly more for the same products to cover the processing fees, partly or wholly. Therefore, running the cash discount program in your liquor store can help you save on these monthly fees, leaving you with extra profits to run and grow your business.

Even when card companies like Visa and Mastercard suddenly increase their fees, you will no longer have to worry about that if you run a cash discount program in your store.

This is because all the risks of such an occurrence fall to the merchant service provider running your cash discount program.

Steady Cash Flow

Even though most businesses have several digital payment methods, hard cash still has several advantages over other digital payment methods.

When you run the cash discount program in your store, you will encourage your patrons to buy with cash, and with more cash payments coming in, you increase cash flow into your business.

Effective Promotional Strategy

Running the cash discount program in your store might be an effective marketing strategy to get customers into your store. Even though such discounts are often small, they can still be an effective strategy to get customers through the door.

Bargain hunters will love visiting your liquor store for a good bargain.

Definite Profit Margins

Profit margins are often tainted by the business’ monthly card processing fees. Each credit or debit card transaction in your store incurs fees that are a percentage of the total amount. Thus, multiple card transactions can cause your profit margins to be uncertain and unstable.

However, you’ll avoid these fees if you run a cash discount program in your store. Cash discount programs require a small monthly fee (as low as $9.99), giving you a stable debit every month.

This thus eliminates the uncertainty that comes with calculating card payment processing fees every month. These stable margins help you better plan for the growth of your business without uncertainty.

Quick and Easy Setup

Setting up a cash discount program in your liquor store is pretty simple. All you need to do is get in touch with a merchant processing company, which will send a representative to your store to set up the hardware.

The representative will also show you how the POS technology works and show your staff how to work with the new hardware. Depending on the merchant you use, you might not even need new hardware and may have to reconfigure your devices to run the cash discount program.

Setup can take just a few hours or days at the most. Running the program is also easy and does not require any special technical skills.


Challenges of the Liquor Industry

Like every industry, the liquor industry has its share of challenges. Also, the challenges are peculiar to different regions of the world. The alcoholic beverage industry in the US is plagued with some issues that affect small business owners.

Here are the main ones:

A Guide to the Cash Discount Program for Liquor Stores

Inventory Management

Inventory management is a great challenge for many retail shops, especially liquor stores that stock various alcoholic beverages. Liquor stores must stock a decent range of drinks to meet most customers’ expectations.

However, the more variety, the harder inventory is to handle. The POS systems installed by the cash discount program can help you better track your inventory, know what items are selling, and manage your business.

Promotion and Marketing

Like most other industries, marketing products is your best bet for increasing patronage and profits. Your business would also need a solid online presence to market effectively on the internet. However, implementing marketing strategies can cut a huge chunk out of your business profits.

Not marketing your business could keep you from reaching a larger audience and making bigger profits. Running a cash discount program can be a marketing strategy to keep customers coming into your store without spending much money.


Undoubtedly, inflation affects every industry, including the alcoholic beverage industry. Although alcoholic beverages show some resistance to inflation spikes, prices of different beverages have increased over time.

Several other factors pose challenges to the liquor and alcoholic beverage industries. One unlikely suspect is the growing popularity of cannabis as a healthier alternative to alcohol.

Does Your Business Need the Cash Discount Program?

The prospect of zero card processing fees per month is certainly an enticing deal for any small retail business. However, it is important to do your due diligence to determine if the program suits your business well.

Before opting for the cash discount program, you should consider a few factors.

Are Your Card Processing Fees too Much for You?

If most of your customers already pay with cash and your bills are negligible every month, there may be no real reason to run this program in your store. However, if you have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on card processing fees monthly, consider setting up cash discounts for your business.

This program is best for businesses with a low average ticket price.

Can Your Business Efficiently Manage Large Cash Flow?

If having raw cash does not offer an advantage or is not a priority for your business, the cash discount program may not be right for you. Handling cash might be strenuous for some businesses.

However, if you think cash inflow works for your store, implementing a cash discount program will be in your best interest.

Do You Have a Large Customer Base?

If you have lots of customers, examine your business to know the ratio of card payers to cash customers. If your products are in high demand and you have lots of card-carrying customers, consider a cash discount program.

How to Set Up Cash Discount Program for Liquor Stores

Follow these easy steps to set up a cash discount program for your store.

  1. Contact a reputable discount merchant about setting up a cash discount program.
  2. Sign up for the program after speaking with the discount merchant representative
  3. Receive the necessary hardware and have the rep install them
  4. Post necessary cash discount signage on your business premises
  5. Start the program

Requirements to Start the Cash Discount Program for Liquor Stores

A Guide to the Cash Discount Program for Liquor Stores

Starting the cash discount program requires no special qualifications. You can run this program for liquor stores in the US. Ensure that you put up proper signage on your premises to inform your customers of the discounts for cash payments.

This is a requirement set by the different credit card brands. Your staff would also need to know how to operate the POS to apply the necessary discounts for customers paying with cash.

Alternatives to the Cash Discount Program

There are a few alternatives to the cash discount program.

Consider Increasing Prices

Increasing the prices of your products will help offset your monthly card processing fees. However, this might deter customers from patronizing your business if they can find lower prices somewhere else.

Switch to a Cheaper Service Provider

If you think your current provider’s rates are too high, consider switching to another provider with lower rates.

Customer Reviews

Several liquor stores around the country implement a cash discount program. It’s important to know what these clients say about the program before implementing it for your business.

Some statistics show that over 95% of consumers are comfortable buying from stores offering discounts for cash transactions and are more than willing to participate in the program. A staggering majority of businesses using a cash discount program have positive reviews of the program, highlighting their enormous savings.

Most clients also express surprise at how easy it is to set up the program for their business. As a business owner, you must ensure to put up signages around your business to keep patrons informed about the program.


Once only implemented by gas stations, the cash discount program has become a fantastic option for other businesses, such as liquor stores, to drastically reduce or eliminate merchant service fees. These card fees can be wildly expensive, causing small business owners to accumulate substantial debts monthly.

If you run a liquor store or a similar business in the US, chances are that cash discount programs will do your business so much good. So, get in touch with a reputable merchant service provider to set the program up for your business and get saving.

More guidance can be found in our other articles on credit card processing here.