The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically accelerated the global adoption of alternative payment methods – with contactless taking the crown for the UK’s most popular. Data now shows that 88.6% of all card payments in 2020 were made via contactless, and with lockdown restrictions continuing and public health concerns growing, there’s little doubt that this trend will continue for some time to come.
With 9 out of 10 UK card payments being made with contactless, it stands to reason that businesses would want to get a slice of that market – but some are still holding out. Unfortunately, doing so could be to their detriment and customers now expect to be able to pay however they want. As time goes on, those who fail to adapt may simply see a decline in their revenues.
To help traditional businesses come around to the idea of contactless technology, we have summarised the top benefits that make a truly compelling case for this increasingly popular payment solution.
How docontactless payments work?
It might seem like the height of technological development, but contactless payments are actually quite easy to understand. The underlying technology is based on a chip contained within each contactless credit card that emits radio waves. A secure connection is established between this chip and contactless card readers, in what is known as radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.
By holding your card near to a reader, the signal will communicate between the two and process the payment. Mobile phones and other devices use a similar technology known as near-field communication (NFC) – but that is another story for another time.
What are the benefits of accepting contactless payments?
Even with a solid understanding of contactless payment technology, it is not necessarily easy to justify making an investment without gaining an appreciation of what it could bring to your business. There are many benefits, but the most significant ones can apply to any business in literally any sector.
1. It is COVID secure
Perhaps most topically, contactless payments are arguably more appropriate for the post-pandemic era than other forms of payment. Many people are now understandably concerned about the spread of COVID-19, and so cash use has dropped through the floor. Similarly, chip and PIN payments still require customers to make contact with the card machine.
Contactless payments, however, are by their very nature free from contact. That means there will be one less touchpoint in business, and therefore a reduced chance of transmission. Given current circumstances, it makes sense to do everything you can to reassure customers that your business is safe and adopting contactless payment capabilities will do just that.
2. Faster and easier transactions
On an operational level, businesses that have contactless capabilities can look forward to a faster transactional process as customers can tap to pay within seconds. No longer will customers have to fumble around with the card machine, and staff can get by with less extensive training than might otherwise be the case.
By eliminating cash handling, you will also be able to clear queues quickly – which is especially important when social distancing measures have limited the number of customers that can enter a store at any one time. It is the smart way to cut the slack out of your business transaction process and make the whole system more effective.
3. Better customer experiences
The culmination of faster and more hygienic transactions makes for better overall customer experiences – but the benefits of contactless payments go far beyond that. At a time when e-commerce is storming through the market and capturing much of the sales volume that previously went to the high street, retailers need to offer customers a range of payment options to suit them.
By restricting the choice of payment method, businesses risk alienating customers and sending them to competitors – which is why it is so very important to keep them onside by adopting a flexible and up-to-date approach to taking their cash and completing their purchases.
4. Enhanced security
One of the major concerns around contactless technology is whether it is actually secure. In fact, it is among the most secure of payment technologies available – since protection measures that are built into the cards and machines mean that the same transaction cannot occur twice. There is also a £45 limit on the total spend per transaction, and the cards still occasionally require users to enter their pin – meaning that a stolen card does not mean an offender has free reign to spend whatever they like.
5. Increased revenues
It might sound too good to be true, but contactless payments really can lead to higher revenues. Given that it is so quick and simple for customers to make purchases, they’re more likely to jump in with impulse buys and a higher number of transactions altogether.
On top of this, retailers that adopt contactless card technology will benefit from fewer abandoned sales – since customers will no longer have to walk away from their purchase on account of not having the right change on hand.
Secure the benefits for your business
If these features sound like something that your business could benefit from, the good news is that there are plenty of options available. Whether it is a mobile contactless card reader that allows roving salespeople to traverse your entire business premises to make sales on the go, or a more traditional stationary contactless reader that still needs high-quality card machine paper, there really is a solution to suit every business.
By choosing UTP Group as your payment solutions provider, you could benefit from Ingenico contactless-enabled card machines that are easy to use, fast, and super reliable.
All things considered; it seems that contactless payments are here to stay. As studies suggest that cash machine use fell by over 35% in 2020 due to the fear of contracting COVID-19, business who want to move with the times will need to ensure that they’re fully equipped for a future that is far less reliant on physical money.
Whatever it is that your business does, and no matter the sector that you occupy, contactless technology is the way forward for any retailer that wants to inject a little convenience into their sales process.