Before COVID-19 your customers never gave a second thought about entering their PIN number on your credit card terminal or grabbing the pen from your store’s clerk to sign a receipt.
Now consumers are anxious about the spread of COVID-19 and are being cautious about what they touch in public. Even though you may have instituted new policies around cleaning your credit card machines and screens, according to a Mastercard study, 50% of consumers worry about touching these devices.
From IBM’s creation of the Magstripe in 1960 to EMV in 1994, advances in payment technology have always played a big role in how consumers interact with businesses. In fact, just over the last 5 years, innovation and technological advances have again drastically changed how you accept payments.
From digital wallets and wearables such as smart watches to ‘tap and go’ (Near Field Communication or NFC) cards there has been a huge shift in how consumers purchase goods and services. And, while the United States has been slow to adopt contactless payments, the international market has been full speed ahead for over a decade.
How COVID-19 is changing the way customers pay you.
In a recent study conducted by American Express, the impact on in-store purchases shows 58% of consumers who have used a contactless payment method state they are more likely to continue this form of payment now.
Further, the study shows that the handling of cash is down as well. According to the study, more than 16% of consumers no longer wish to partake in cash transactions. The study also found 15% of consumers say they no longer wish to insert or swipe their credit or debit cards.
Fifty percent of consumers also agree that using contactless is safer for personal health than using cash or swiping a card and it is more convenient and faster with both bolstering an almost 10% increase in the past 8 months.
What can you do to keep your business current with consumer desires
Below are some of the easy things you can do right now to keep your business up to date with today’s consumer
Upgrade payment processing equipment
- Call your merchant service provider to see if they can provide an upgrade to your credit card terminal for NFC or ‘tap and go’ transactions
- Upgrade your POS (point of sale) equipment to utilize NFC transactions
- If you have age-appropriate wares upgrade to a digital scanner to confirm the age of your customer
Improve your online store
- Make it easier for people to shop and pay online so they can pick up at your store
- If you don’t have a website with eCommerce ability contact Stafford Technologies to help you move your inventory online
- For the foodservice industry, be sure your menu is online and interactive
- Make it easy for people to understand the number they need to call to order and pay over the phone
Advertise contactless payment at your business
- Put signage in your windows letting people know you have contactless payment options
- Ensure your website reflects all your contactless payment and pickup options
- Include a banner in all your advertising alerting consumers you have contactless payment options
COVID-19 has created a change for the better in how consumers and businesses interact
Consumers are seeing the benefits of interacting with your business through contactless payment and, this form of payment is quickly becoming the consumer’s favorite way of paying for goods and services.
As a business owner, while you do want to remove as many hurdles as you can to make visiting your business and buying from you as easy as possible, there is the added benefit of lower costs in labor, increased productivity, and more efficient payments.
Improve the way you take payments today.