When the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. in early spring of 2020, Reuters reported that by restricting Americans with social distancing and other activities, the economy was well on track for “its biggest contraction in the second quarter since the Great Depression.” Add to that a historic loss of American jobs that totaled 20.5 million in April, as well as many businesses shutting down temporarily to permanently, the overall financial forecast of the brick and mortar business was beginning to look grim.
Although the economy was just starting to open up again in the fall, the coast is still not clear for these brick and mortar (B&M) establishments. Struggling to find its bearings again in the midst of a second wave, B&Ms must secure their financial foothold and preserve the trust of their customers.
One way that B&Ms can secure the trust of their customers is to offer contactless payments. Customers, fearful of infection and contamination, want as little contact as possible during their shopping experience. By investing in the newest technology in contactless payment solutions, these B&Ms will ensure the safety of their customers.
What Are Contactless Payments?
Contactless payments are a secure way for consumers to purchase their services or products with a debit, credit, smartcard, or other payment devices by the use of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology and near field communication (NFC).
The “contactless” payment methodology has to do with the use of chip cards or RFID technology without having to swipe a card, enter a personal identification number (PIN), or provide a signature for a transaction. By tapping, the credit card information is instantly transmitted electronically from the card to the bank.
Why Adopt Contactless Payments In Your Business?
The most important reason for adopting contactless payments is that it provides a more hygienic shopping experience for customers. This is because the transaction greatly reduces contact between the customer and the cashiers. With the current pandemic and second wave, more customers will be looking out for ways to protect themselves during their in-store shopping experience. Similarly, employees are also looking out for their well-being in these difficult times, making sure they too have as little contact with customers.
Without question, even in the absence of a pandemic, customers want their checkout experience to be as quick and seamless as possible. When customers are able to simply tap their card and go, it greatly expedites the entire checkout process.
Businesses benefit from the tap and go checkout feature, especially if they have very limited space in their B&M stores. With the current restrictions on capacity within their stores, businesses need a faster checkout experience. The quicker the customers can move through the store, the less likely the need of forming excessively long lines.
Finally, and most importantly, contactless payments remove the “human error” potential. Since the entire process is completely automated this significantly cuts down on operational costs.
Getting Started With Contactless Payments
In order to choose the best contact payment solution, it is best to begin by looking for software that integrates seamlessly with its pre-existing technology. An effective contact payment solution should connect with the company’s current POS system, accounting platform, inventory management program, its CRM solution, and any other solution that the company is using.
This is a crucial decision. Without the right integration, the business can fall victim to creating “data silos”. This essentially means that critical business data will not be able to move freely within the company’s software platforms.
Contactless Payments Expected To Rise
The research and trends demonstrate that the use of contactless payments will only triple by the year 2024. This spells a great opportunity for businesses that have yet to adopt contactless payments as their payment methodology.