Over the last decade, payment technologies have rapidly evolved. In the first instance, swiping a credit or debit card and signing for a transaction was replaced by the faster and more secure chip and PIN process. This evolution was considered to be one of the primary factors behind the consumer's willingness to spend more in single transactions, with the motorhome industry reporting a 20.4% increase in sales during 2015 and similar trends being noticed across all big-ticket markets. Nowadays, payment systems have advanced further to include quick and easy contactless methods.Last year saw single contactless card transaction amounts rise from £20 to £30, as well as an increase in the uptake of smart phone payment apps. But is this just a new trend,or are contactless payments worth the hype and in what ways could they benefit your business? How can Small Business Capitalise on Contactless Payment? The evidence suggests that contactless payment is indeed here to stay, with some resources even hinting that this could effectively supersede cash by the end of 2021. With this in mind, let’s take a look at the competitive advantages that contactless payment offers to smaller businesses in the modern age: -
- Contactless is Fast and Convenient
One of the largest benefits of contactless payment is convenience, both for small businesses and customers. On average, a contactless transaction takes 15 seconds or less, compared to chip and PIN which can take more than 30. This means fewer queues (and happier customers) and quicker transactions (meaning more transactions per hour), while it also helps brands to deliver a superior service.
- Provides Safer Transactions
One of the largest concerns surrounding contactless is fraud, however, it is actually one of the safest payment methods. Contactless payments use encrypted data and the chip within a credit or debit card transmits a unique transaction number, making it almost impossible for thieves to access or steal your information. This is pivotal for smaller brands, as it enables them to build trust and loyalty among consumers.
- Keeps Your Information Secure
Similarly, contactless cards do not use the card number when processing a payment. Not only is this great news in terms of safety, but it also means that the merchant does not use or store the card's information, adding another layer of security to your transaction and further deterring fraudsters.
- Simple and Effective
As well as quicker transaction times and less time waiting in queues, customers also benefit from the simplicity of contactless payment. As long as the balance is within the £30 limit, shoppers do not have to worry about incorrectly typing a PIN number or finding their reading glasses. Instead, they can easily swipe and pay.
- Innovative and Feature Rich
As mentioned previously, contactless payment can be carried out via phone as well as cards. This means an array of benefits for consumers, as customers can add their debit or credit card to their phone, they can easily keep tabs on their transactions, and new features can be added with a software update. In conclusion, contactless payment benefits customers in a variety of ways. It is also cost effective and easy to implement, with mobile apps and rented card machines able to accept contactless transactions, meaning businesses profit, too. This is particularly important for small businesses, who are often forced to operate within fine margins when it comes to profit and loss. By embracing contactless payments, they are therefore empowering their customers and their own, long-term growth.