If you have been in any supermarket or shop since the coronavirus outbreak began, you have probably seen signs encouraging customers to make contactless payments wherever they can. Contactless payments have been around for quite a while now. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, banks made it possible to pay for more using the contactless method, increasing the limit from just £30 to £45.
So, why are contactless payments the best option when buying something in the age of COVID-19? We know that the virus is spread by touching infected surfaces. This means contactless payments are the most logical option if you want to reduce contact between customers, employees, and equipment.
It’s in the name – contactless payments mean that the customer makes no contact with anyone or anything when they make a payment. Unlike handing over cash, which could have been anywhere or handled by anyone, or punching a PIN into a machine that could have been touched by a hundred people before them, customers can easily make a payment by simply tapping their card on the reader or even hovering it over the reader so that nothing touches at all. The customer’s hands never have to touch any equipment or come into close contact with the employee when paying by contactless, making it undoubtedly the safest option for preventing the virus spread.
Safer for Employees:
Employees working in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic are putting their own health at risk to come to work every day. So, accepting contactless payments makes everything just that little bit safer for them while at work. No employer wants their employees to catch COVID-19 while working for them, but only accepting cash payments will seriously increase the risk of having that happen. Along with the close contact with customers who hand over the cash, the cash itself could be infected with the virus.
Switching over to making contactless payments to protect the health and safety of your customers during the age of COVID-19 is sure to help you improve your reputation and build trust with your customers. Sometimes, it is small steps like these that thoroughly demonstrate to your customers that you care about them and want them to be as safe as possible while shopping. And with many people understandably still concerned about their health and that of their loved ones, even as non-essential shops begin to reopen, it’s a move that is likely to get your business chosen over the ones that aren’t doing anything to reduce contact at the checkout.
It’s More Convenient:
While it might not be a purely COVID-19-related reason to accept contactless payments, upgrading your payment systems to provide more safety for customers and employees will also benefit your business in several further ways. Contactless payments are undoubtedly more convenient for customers who do not have to worry about making sure that they have the right amount of cash on them or remember their PIN to punch it into the machine. Accepting contactless payments also means that certain customers who have mobile wallets can make payments easily using their smartphone, eliminating the need for them to even have their debit or credit card on them altogether.
Switching to Contactless Payments:
If your business previously only accepted cash or had an old-fashioned card reader that always required a PIN, the good news is that switching to accepting contactless payments is easier than ever. You can get contactless card payment machines from UTP Group who are working with Ingenico, which makes their machines highly sought after. UTP Group also offers a wide range of further benefits, including Faster Payment processing for merchants, allowing you to get the funds in your business bank account within an hour in most cases and in no more than 24 hours at most, unlike many others, which can take several days.
Encouraging Your Customers to Pay With Contactless:
While it’s still a good idea to give your customers other options to pay when needed, you should encourage them to make payments contactless where possible. Keep your customers updated on your social media profiles on the switch to accepting contactless payments that you have made and ensure that they are aware that there is this option available for them. At the checkout point, put up clear signage to indicate that contactless payments are available and ask customers to pay using this method wherever possible. You might also want to ask your employees to gently remind customers when paying that they can pay by contactless payment if they wish and that the limit has been increased to £45. Of course, some customers might spend more, so ensure that card machines are disinfected after each use.
Since COVID-19 is easily spread by touching infected surfaces, contactless payments help to keep everybody safer.
As an experienced business and finance writer I understand the corporate landscape and the driving forces behind it. Over the years I’ve shared my insight and knowledge with key industry publications and dedicated my time to showing how business leaders can make their organisations more effective.