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Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2020 and has been updated to incorporate additional information.
Original publish date: May 28, 2020
Updated: March 16, 2022
The pandemic has changed so much about our world, including how we shop and pay for our purchases. Due in no small part to ongoing health and safety concerns, contactless payments have exploded in popularity over the past couple of years—with some customers even refusing to patronize a business that doesn’t offer touchless transactions. If your establishment is interested in adopting this in-demand technology, read the article below. You’ll learn what contactless payments are, how they work, and 7 key ways they can help your business.
A contactless payment is one that doesn’t require physical contact between a customer’s method of payment and a merchant’s payment device. Unlike swiping or dipping a card and punching in a PIN number, contactless payments rely on a technology called near field communication (NFC). This wireless communication system enables two electronic devices (generally a payment terminal and a mobile device or chip card) that are in close proximity to “talk” to each other, exchanging data securely via an encrypted signal. Contactless payments are typically made with either an NFC-enabled credit card, wearable devices like smart watches, or a mobile wallet such as Apple Pay™, Google Pay™, or Samsung Pay™ on a customer’s cellular phone. In all cases, the customer holds their device or card near the payment terminal to complete their transaction.
The benefits of contactless payments are numerous, including:
Contactless payments don’t require a customer’s signature or PIN. They simply hold their card or device near the payment terminal and the purchase is completed automatically.
Keep your lines and your customers moving with a no-contact way to pay. Shorter lines mean happier customers and less attrition from those who give up making a purchase when they see a long wait at the register. It’s a win-win!
Because contactless payments are fast and easy, customers may be more apt to make small, spontaneous purchases if they can pay with a quick wave of their device. Be sure to have items that are easy to buy on impulse readily available around your store and at your POS station. These additional sales add up over time to boost your profits.
Because there’s no need for a customer to handle a pen nor press the keys on a PIN pad, the chance of cross contamination from potential viruses or bacteria is greatly minimized. It’s also safer for your staff because they no longer have to take a customer’s card for payment and hand it back. It’s truly a touch-free transaction.
Contactless payments use EMV chip card technology, which is far more secure than outdated magnetic stripe cards that are easy to clone. Adding another layer of security, a customer is required to enter their password to complete a payment using their mobile wallet. What’s more, cardholder information is tokenized with NFC payments, ensuring it can’t be obtained and used for fraudulent purposes. Tokens work by replacing sensitive payment information, like a 16-digit credit card number, with a unique identifier for each transaction, masking any personal data.
In addition, contactless payments are inherently more secure since they don’t require a customer to hand over their credit card to anyone nor sign a receipt.
If your business offers loyalty programs, especially customer-centric ones like those available with Exatouch® and Clover® Point of Sale systems, it’s simple for customers to link their mobile wallets to your program. This enables them to earn and redeem rewards instantly, providing significant savings, improving customer satisfaction, and encouraging repeat business. Plus, you can easily track purchases and analyze sales data. Use that information to manage your inventory efficiently, saving your business money.
Giving your customers options in how they pay offers them greater convenience. They’ll appreciate the choice and be more likely to return to your business and tell their friends, neighbors, and family about their positive experience at your establishment. Think about a customer who has their smartphone in-hand but left their wallet or purse in the car. If your business has contactless payments, that customer can make their purchase using the mobile wallet on their phone and be on their way. Conversely, if they need to retrieve their credit card from the car, they may decide it’s not worth the effort to go back into the store and you’d lose that sale. Not only may contactless payments save sales, they could also be the differentiator that drives customers to choose your business over your competition since not everyone offers this technology. Providing your customers payment options is one more way your business can give great service.
Reach out to Electronic Payments and see which options work best for your needs.
The Clover name and logo are owned by Clover Network, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of First Data corporation,
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