I’ve just read a report which has Barclaycard claiming that half of UK consumers use contactless payment at least once a month, and according to surveys most of us are intending to use it more frequently in the future.
The UK Cards Association recently tweeted that there are 100 million contactless cards in circulation in the UK (most of these being debit cards). We are also now able to use mobile phones and Apple watches to make payments in certain stores and transport networks.
Yes, it’s true that there is a limit to how much consumers can tap to pay – currently £30 per transaction. This, however, is obviously going to increase in the near future, as use of this convenient technology takes off.
Is it worth, at this stage, going in for equipping your business with a contactless card reader?
THE EASY OPTION
The advantages for your customers are obvious: tapping to pay is quick and convenient. For you it means being able to ring up more sales, more quickly. It also reduces the amount of cash you need to handle, because customers spending small amounts which they would usually pay in cash are likely to rather take the easy “tap and go” option.
There may be a small fee involved in swopping your old card reader for a contactless version from your payments provider initially, but beyond that there should not be any extra cost involved in using the new technology.
Perhaps you (and no doubt some of your customers) fear that contactless payments are more open to fraud than the traditional “chip and pin” payment method? Most providers are quick with reassurances about security, however, pointing out that the £30 payment limit is a good safeguard. Most card providers also have a limit on the number of consecutive contactless payments a customer can make before they are asked for a pin number.
There’s no disputing the fact that contactless payment is the way forward, so the sooner you get on board with it the better!
There are some small businesses for which the benefits of tap to pay are particularly apparent.
These include any concern that sells a lot of goods and/or services costing less than £30 (the current contactless limit). Here one could think of barbers, sweet shops and convenience stores.
Then there are businesses which have increased volumes of custom at certain times – such as sandwich delis, fast food outlets, coffee shops and pubs. In these cases a quick payment method means quicker service, and more sales.
Having chatted to several small business owners who have embraced tap and pay technology the advice they all give is to ensure you advertise your contactless option at the point of sale: make sure you have signage at the till, and preferably in-store ads as well, to promote the use of contactless.
Obviously you also need to make sure any employees that receive payment from customers are fully trained in using the contactless option, and are able to explain it to customers if requested to.
It’s a no-brainer really. Success in business depends on meeting the needs of customers, and what most of them need – or demand – in 2017 and beyond is contactless payment.