You may have seen or heard about contactless payment systems and wondered if they would help business. Yes, they can, and if there is ever a time to buy a payment terminal that accepts contactless payments, it’s now. Thanks to COVID-19, the US contactless payment market has boomed, and the number of payments by this method increases each day.

With today’s range of contactless technology options such as contactless cards and wearable devices, it’s easier, safer, and faster for users to make payments. As a business, you can now accept nearly any kind of contactless payment method ranging from true card payments, mobile wallet payments, and online purchases all in the same system, giving your customers multiple ways to buy.

But the benefits extend beyond customers. There are many reasons you, as a business, should consider a contactless payment system. This article will discuss why this technology is so popular with today’s merchants and pick the right providers.

What are contactless payments?

To put it simply, contactless payments are transactions that don’t require a customer to touch a card reader. POS devices with this technology can read special chips in credit cards and electronic payment devices to accept payments wirelessly without customers having to swipe or input their card information manually.

How contactless technology works

What’s the technology behind contactless payments? A contactless system secures payment using near-field communication (NFC). Payments cards and devices designed for this technology have a special chip that transmits payment information to a corresponding POS device using a radiofrequency. Bank account information is exchanged instantly, and you receive the customer’s payment.

Systems that offer this technology show a symbol on them with four curved lines, telling the user that contactless payment is available.

Contactless cards

These payment cards resemble credit cards – and in many cases actually are credit cards. They show the same symbol as the card readers, indicating their wireless capability. The special chip inside the card emits radio waves picked up when tapped or placed near a reader.

E-Wallets

Electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets allow for mobile payment and receipt tracking. In these cases, a customer’s credit card information is stored on the device in an E-wallet – an app that electronically stores multiple cards and transmits the data as “tokens” to your reader, which are then converted to real funds. Customers approve the purchase on their device to initiate payment and even receive payment confirmation for their files.

Contactless Wearables

Smartwatches, rings, and fobs work similarly. Smartwatches still have E-wallet capability, but since watches have small screens and rings, and fobs may have no screens, customers can pass the wearable near the screen to approve transactions.

What kind of stores have contactless payments?

Most brick-and-mortar stores offer contactless payment these days. Some common locations are those with high turnarounds, such as grocery stores, coffee shops, convenience stores, and general merchandise stores such as Target and Walmart. Businesses like them due to the speed and ease of payments and because they allow for yet another payment method, increasing purchasing potential. Many retailers and restaurants also offer it to make payments faster and cleaner.

Why do merchants want to incorporate contactless payments?

There are many ways you benefit from contactless payments: here are some of the biggest.

Contactless delivers value to all players

Customers benefit from easier and faster payment, cutting purchasing to half the time while gaining a clear read of transactions. These benefits lead users to make payments through contactless systems more often each year. And by allowing for this preferred method of payment, you also benefit from transaction speed. You make it easier for them to shop with you, putting you on their shortlist of buying options.

Contactless makes your everyday payments simple

With a clean and fast payment system, customers will be more prone to use it. When they do, taking orders is consistently easier for you. You won’t need to manually swipe or input credit card numbers, receive and dispense change, or accept checks. With just a simple customer approval, you are ready to print the receipt and help the next customer in line. And this transaction makes it even easier by providing email receipt capability. You can immediately email a receipt to a customer’s email address on file with the card, making the transaction process even easier and faster. And each payment is pre-approved by your customer, reducing buying disputes.

COVID-19: the catalyst in the contactless payment adoption

Contactless payment systems also aid in the fight against COVID-19. Customers and employees can maintain social distancing and avoid the need to touch store devices, keeping them and the clerk safer while further reducing the virus’s spread to the next shopper.

Contactless creates new payments opportunities

You also don’t restrict modes of payment, providing your customers with more ways to pay. Did the customer forget his or her wallet? Not an issue. They can use their phone or smartwatch to complete payment.

“How much can I pay with contactless payment?”

There isn’t a limit on the number of payments by this method. Customers can make consecutive contactless transactions throughout the day. A busy day of credit or debit card shopping may require a manual payment with a pin at some point during the day to remain contactless. This helps protect you if the card was stolen.

There isn’t a limit on the charge per transaction either, though you will need to provide a signature for purchases over specific dollar amounts. The allowable amounts have increased due to more demand for this method of payment during COVID-19. The provider and the technology set the amounts, but typically the shift happens at around $100 or $200.

How to pick a provider

Are you looking for a contactless partner? If so, where do you start?

What you choose should align with your needs, and one basic need is more transactions. Since Apple Pay and Google Pay are popular, they should be on your list. Offering them means you allow for a common payment method that will attract more purchasing from those who prefer contactless payment systems.

These companies process payments faster than payment cards with chips. And with fast access with a simple button, swipe, or tap of a phone, or even just holding it near the reader like a smartwatch, your customers are instantly ready to buy.

These options are also very secure. They create “tokens” with each purchase – a unique code that disguises the credit card number. If someone found a way to steal the customer’s payment information during a transaction, the culprit wouldn’t have an actual card number. Your customers will appreciate the added safety.

With additional safeguards like fingerprint detection and the ability to track down stolen phones, these devices work as ultra-secure wallets.

These two providers aside, contact payment has boomed, and it’s important to add other providers to ensure an ample set of options. The boost in contactless payments has brought even more to the market globally. But which companies do you choose?

The top contactless payments companies

Here at BNG Payments, we can include any number of payment providers in a payment terminal. Here is a breakdown of the most popular providers today.

What company is the leader in contactless payments?

The leader in global payments is Apple Pay. As of 2020, it accounts for 10% of all transactions.

The top 8 contactless payment providers in the US

Including Apple Pay and Google Pay, here are the top players in the US contactless payment market. These companies are a good place to start.

  • Apple Pay
  • Google Pay
  • Intio GoPayment
  • Paydiant
  • Visa Checkout
  • MasterCard MasterPass
  • PayPal Mobile
  • Square Order

Conclusion

In addition to the processors themselves, choosing a quality merchant company is key to your success. As with any merchant system, having your software or hardware break down on you during a busy day with customers can be expensive and painful. A quality provider keeps your systems running with reliable technology and strong customer service. But there are other benefits of using a reliable vendor.

Do you need just a payment terminal, or do you need a system that works alongside other payment methods such as online purchasing? Do you need multiple devices? Do you need mobile payment and receipt capability? How about a clear view of all transactions in real-time?

We here at BNG Payments provide all the hardware and software functionality you need and a wealth of backend data capability, so you can better manage income and expenses. With all your needs from one source, you also enjoy improved service while saving money via specialized contracts.

To find out more about contactless processing solutions and how we can help, get in touch with us here.