At a time when the Covid pandemic is raging around the world, everyone is talking about social distancing measures and keeping human contacts to a bare minimum. Businesses too are at the forefront of devising strategies to protect people from coming in contact with germs and one of the important strategies of limiting exposure to the virus is contactless payment done through the tap of a credit/debit card, smartphone, or smartwatch. All these payment methods keep the business flowing while ensuring the germs are not transmitted via human contact.
In the following paragraphs, we deal in some detail about contactless payments and the benefits of carrying out digital transactions with limited or no human contact.
What are Contactless Payments?
Investopedia defines contactless payment as following:
“Contactless payment is a secure method for consumers to purchase products or services using a debit, credit, or smartcard—also known as a chip card—by using RFID technology or near-field communication (NFC).
Contactless payment is also referred to as tap-and-go by some banks and retailers. Examples of non-credit or debit card contactless payments include transit cards, Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Google Wallet.”
Important Benefits of Contactless Payments
• Hygienic: Contactless payments are a better and more hygienic and safer alternative to using cash or a pin pad on a credit/debit card terminal for transactions. It is not hard to decipher as the lesser the contact, the lesser the opportunity of germs transmission and contamination.
• Fast: Another major benefit of contactless payments is that they speed up the entire transaction. It is because you do not need any PIN and your employees don’t need to manage cash transactions.
• Improved customer experience: As previously mentioned, contactless payments create an efficient, calm, and speedy experience – something that is going to make both businesses and consumers happy
• Secure: Few people harbor doubts about the safety aspect of contactless payment. They feel that contactless payments lack the safety features of a chip card transaction, though, in reality, contactless payments provide the same level of EMV security provided by chip cards.
How Popular are Contactless Payments?
A 2019 report, published before the pandemic struck, shows that contactless payments account for approximately 20% of all transactions in countries such as Australia, Canada, the UK, and South Korea. When it comes to the United States, the majority of transactions were still being carried out in cash but the Covid pandemic has caused a massive shift in people’s attitude and they are now shifting more and more towards contactless payments.
The majority of banks offer contactless credit and debit cards, as well as terminals where customers can carry out cashless transactions. These terminals have a contactless payment symbol to help customers identify the place where contactless payment methods are accepted.