BAMS What's New for Your Business in 2021

BAMS: What’s New for Your Business in 2021

With 2020 in the rearview mirror, it’s time to start looking ahead to the new trends and technologies that will define the payments space in 2021. Industry news for January is still heavily impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and includes new resources for merchants around the country, a brand new cloud-based mobile POS, and confirmation from Visa that contactless payments are set to continue being a major story in 2021 and beyond. 

America’s Small Business Development Center Launches New COVID-19 Resource Site

In December 2020, America’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) and the Association of Women’s Business Centers (AWBC) announced, a website dedicated to providing information on Federal resources to small businesses struggling with COVID-19 all over the United States. Funded by the CARES act, the website offers business owners information on financial assistance, tax considerations, health and safety, consumer assistance, cybersecurity, and much more. Notably, the site also features a local assistance tool that connects businesses with local advisors and mentors from the SBDC, AWBC, Veterans Business Outreach Center, and SCORE. 

Mastercard Tests Mobile Phone-Based POS System

Mastercard is looking to make point-of-sale hardware obsolete with a new mobile-phone-based POS system called Cloud Tap on Phone. In a January 11th, 2021 press release, the company announced a pilot program for the new system, which was developed in conjunction with NMI, Global Payments, and Computer Engineering Group. This new cloud-based POS pilot represents the newest advance in Mastercard’s Tap on Phone program, which began testing in April of 2020. Cloud Tap on Phone promises to democratize payment acceptance by enabling merchants to use their existing smartphones as fully-functional POS and payment devices, eliminating the costs associated with expensive POS hardware and unnecessarily complex software. 

Consumer Preference for Contactless Payments Continues to Grow

Visa released their Back to Business Study 2021 Outlook, and the company is forecasting continued growth in the contactless payment options that swept the world in the wake of COVID-19. According to the study, 39% of SMBs adopted contactless payments in the three months prior to polling, and 74% expected consumers to continue preferring contactless even after vaccines are widely available. The sentiment from consumers included in the study seemed to agree, with two-thirds saying they’d prefer to keep using contactless payments as much or even more than they currently are. 

Continued growth in contactless payments also represents a huge opportunity for Apple Pay, the tech giant’s native digital wallet solution that comes bundled with all iPhones and Touch ID-enabled MacBooks. Apple Pay saw its global userbase grow to an estimated 507 million worldwide by September 2020, and while the company does not release official user data, it’s safe to assume that number will only continue to grow as the pandemic rages on and iPhone adoption continues to tick upwards.  

Apply Pay and other leading digital wallets like Google Pay and Samsung Pay can be accepted in-store using any standard EMV-compliant contactless payment hardware. If you’re looking to adopt contactless payments in 2021, BAMS is the ideal partner for your hardware modernization. BAMS merchants enjoy access to a variety of contactless payment hardware, as well as the guaranteed-lowest transaction fees in the industry. To find out more about getting set up with a low-cost BAMS merchant account, request a quote to start your free custom 5-point price comparison today.