In part one of this series, we discussed the basics of contactless payments, how they work, and the exceptional convenience that they offer to consumers and businesses alike. In part two, we’ll look at an emerging benefit that has come into focus in the wake of the global COVID-19 outbreak – improved public health. We’ll also discuss some of the key steps in transitioning to contactless payment solutions, and the factors you should look into when deciding if now is the right time for your business to make the switch.
Current Trends in Contactless Payment Preferences
The emergence of COVID-19 and its rapid sweep across the globe has shown that, in addition to unmatched convenience, contactless payments also offer major public health benefits. We’ve long known how dirty physical money is, but few people had put thought into the cleanliness of things like the number of pads on electronic payment terminals. Those terminals are touched hundreds, and potentially thousands of times a day and, previously, were rarely if ever cleaned by most businesses. It’s no surprise that the current public health crisis has rapidly accelerated the popularity and adoption of contactless payments – a trend that there is good reason to believe it is here to stay, even after COVID-19 recedes.
According to PaySafe, 69% of U.S. consumers find contactless payment more convenient than cash, and well over half have grown more comfortable using contactless payments over the last year. With the pandemic forcing more and more people and businesses to embrace and adopt contactless cards and digital wallets, it’s possible that we’re looking at a major step towards a theoretically cashless society – something Accenture believes will be the primary long-term impact of COVID-19.
Is Contactless Payment Right for Your Business?
The world is moving towards contactless, but the pressing question is whether or not it’s the right time for your business to make the transition. It might seem like an easy and obvious yes, and, in many cases, it is. But there are still potential drawbacks and factors to be considered when making the choice. Weighing the pros and cons is important when making any major changes to your business, and the following represent some of the most significant factors on each side.
Pros of Going Contactless:
- Your business will be in a position to offer consumers peace of mind both during COVID-19 and in the high-tension time immediately following.
- Your business will be able to offer consumers the convenient payment options they expect in 2020 and beyond. Consumers can still insert their chip cards and enter their pins if they want, but giving them the choice to tap is important.
- You will decrease the average time it takes to process a transaction, increasing your capacity, and minimizing potential wait times for your customers.
- You will be well-positioned for a future in which failing to offer contactless payments will be a major competitive disadvantage.
Cons of Going Contactless:
- There will be some customers who will remain resistant to change, especially if your client-base favors older demographics. However, as mentioned, accepting contactless payments does not preclude the use of cash or traditional card payments.
- You will require new payment terminals to be installed. There may be costs associated with upgrading your hardware, and your current ability to cover those costs should be considered. Talk to your payment processing partner to find out what contactless solutions are available to you and how they can help you make the switch.
In the end, your business is almost certainly going to have to adopt contactless payment technology at some point in the future, because that is simply the way the world is moving. So, even if now isn’t the right time to upgrade your payment hardware, it’s a good idea to begin planning for when you eventually will.
BAMS merchants have access to a wide variety of EMV-compliant contactless payment options, and our development managers are always available to help find the best solution for each company’s needs. For more information on how BAMS can help you make the upgrade process as easy as possible, contact us today.