Contactless POS Payments Key to Customers and Merchants
Consumers have been slow to adopt contactless payments for years, but COVID-19 has become the tipping point for digital transaction acceptance. According to a recent Mastercard poll, more than half of U.S. shoppers are now using some form of contactless payment. Cash is being used less often or not at all since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey also showed that consumers are mostly using contactless cards for buying essentials at grocery stores (85%), pharmacies (39%), retail stores (38%), quick service or fast food restaurants (36%), and forms of transit (9%).
Touch-free payments add safety and convenience
The act of running to the store for essential goods has changed drastically over the last few months. Shoppers around the country have had to adjust to masks and social distancing measures when buying everyday supplies. The shift in consumer behavior is clear at checkout, as shoppers express a desire for touch-free payment options over concerns regarding cleanliness and safety at the point of sale. The survey found that 50 percent of U.S. consumers worry about the cleanliness of signature touchpads and 72 percent of U.S. consumers prefer to skip signatures altogether. Eighty-eight percent of consumers surveyed said that implementing a contactless payment option was easy and they will continue to use touch-free payments post COVID-19.
Contactless payments provide the safety and convenience that consumers are looking for especially in today’s world. Blake Rosenthal, Mastercard’s executive vice president and head of acceptance solutions, stated that, “Social distancing does not just concern people’s interactions with each other. It includes contact with publicly shared devices like point-of-sale terminals and checkout counters. Contactless offers consumers a safer, cleaner way to pay, speed at checkout, and more control over physical proximity at this critical time.”
Merchant ability to accept digital payment is essential
It is important for merchants to be prepared for the shift to contactless payments if you have not done so already. If your business accepts EMV chip cards, then you can most likely accept tap and pay as well. Millions of terminals, updated during the October 2015 EMV liability shift, offer both contact and contactless payment options that customers and merchants can take advantage of.
If your point-of-sale terminal has this symbol on it, it is already NFC (or near-field communication) capable which means it should be able to accept contactless payments via card or smart device. Many terminals will also indicate on their on-screen prompts if they can process contactless payments. Look for the word “tap” on the terminal screen—this means that contactless payments are accepted.
Virtually every modern smartphone—including all new iPhones and most Android devices—can also make contactless payments. Smartphones use apps called mobile wallets to securely store and transmit customers’ payment data. The most popular mobile wallets include Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay that come pre-installed on new devices from those manufacturers. Consumers can opt-in to using these services easily, and they just need a participating bank to verify the card prior to using their digital wallet for purchases.
If you are a merchant that can accept contactless payments, now is the time to take advantage of this technology to keep you, your employees, and your customers safe.
And if you have not enabled contactless payments for your business, reach out and an Infitech advisor can be in touch to help you:
- Determine if your payment terminals have contactless capability
- Activate the contactless feature if it’s not already activated
- Walk through the process of accepting contactless payments.