How to introduce contactless payments – it’s easier than you think

Since its introduction to the UK less than 10 years ago, contactless has quickly become one of the most popular ways to make low value purchases on card. In October 2015, more than 10 per cent of all card transactions were made by tapping a card on a reader[1]; a year before, the figure was less than four per cent.

 

Coffee shops and sandwich bars have been early adopters of ‘tap and pay’ technology, but that doesn’t mean the solution is only for smaller businesses. A situation is fast approaching where consumers expect to pay with a tap of their card, and retailers of all sizes will begin to look behind the times if they can’t provide customers with this option.

With the method set to become increasingly the norm as consumers look for convenient ways to pay, James Frost, UK CMO, Worldpay, advises small businesses how and why they should integrate contactless into their retail operations.

The new way to pay

Although contactless has been around since 20072, its rapid take-up over the past 2 ½ years has been truly impressive. Other innovations – most notably the ATM – took decades to establish trust among its users; by comparison, contactless has gone from novelty to mainstream in no more than four years. In 2020 new regulations will come in to force requiring all card terminals in the UK to be contactless enabled so it’s a great opportunity to get ahead of the game.

It’s clear that consumers both like and trust contactless – as seen in its rapid adoption in all manner of environments, from shops to restaurants to public transport. What’s more, the increase in the transaction limit to £30 last year demonstrates how people and businesses value the convenience it brings over the fear of fraud or theft.

A large part of the appeal is that contactless is fast, intuitive, and ubiquitous – not just as a means for making purchases in shops, but for travelling on transport; from the London Underground to taxis, and by 2022 on all Britain’s buses. In fact, it’s become such an integral part of our daily lives that many notice its absence more than its presence.

Contactless is easier than you think

With the rise in maximum transaction value to £30 and the launch of Apple Pay, contactless now makes even more sense to smaller businesses, especially those with high volumes of low spend like newsagents, cafés and bars. Moreover, contactless isn’t just about the customer: the speed of transactions makes it ideal for businesses that need to serve customers quickly and cut queues at the till.

Here are some considerations to make sure that you can introduce the technology smoothly and effectively:

  1. Look at the business case. Take a look at your typical transaction volumes and values. If you often take payments of £30 or less, and if your business frequently experiences heavy demands and queues at peak times, then contactless can help.
  2. Let people know that you support contactless. There is no point enabling contactless payments if customers aren’t aware of the fact. A few in-store adverts or visible branding around the counter will help customers know that they can tap and go.
  3. Train your staff. Not only do employees need to understand the technology, but they need to promote it to customers. They will need to have a good grasp of things such as maximum spend and security features to ensure that they can effectively explain the benefits of contactless to customers.

With Apple Pay and Android Pay moving into the contactless space, the opportunities to support your businesses growth is increasing, you can find out more on how contactless can help your businesses here or call us on 0345 761 6263 to upgrade your card machine to allow for Contactless transactions.

[1] UK Cards Association ‘One in 10 card transactions now contactless’

2 UK Cards Association  ‘Contactless’