Contactless Payments: Considerations for Retailers

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Cashless payments took off amid the pandemic and their adoption by retailers has increased ever since. Consumers find them convenient, easy-to-use, a lifesaver when an alternate payment method is forgotten, and more hygienic than traditional payment methods. Embracing contactless payments is essential for retailers seeking to accommodate consumers’ ever-changing preferences. Retailers who want to take advantage of these type of payments need to ensure a seamless transition to the new method and protect customer data.

How Contactless Payments Work

Contactless payments refer to transactions where a person can pay for goods and/or services without physically touching a payment terminal or using cash. Users simply tap their card or device near a compatible payment terminal to complete the transaction securely. The process to upgrade to  contactless payments requires a business to integrate their current point-of-sale (POS) system with near-field communication (NFC) and radio frequency identification (RFI) technology. This allows customers to tap their contactless device (phone, watch, card, etc.) with a retailer’s POS system and make a payment transaction.

Considerations for Retailers Before Implementation

First, adding a new type of payment transaction is best received by customers when it is easy and quick. Merchants need to be educated on the various contactless types and how to accommodate those prior to implementation. For example, a customer finds an item for purchase in the store and they would like to use Apple Pay to buy the product. If a merchant isn’t equipped to accept this type of contactless transaction, the merchant is at risk of a lost sale and unnecessary complications for both the consumer and the retailer. Beyond that initial interaction, that consumer may never return. For reasons like these, it’s vital for retailers to offer cashless payment methods, especially if their demographic skews younger, where contactless payments are more prevalent.

Another important consideration is protecting consumer data. Protecting customer data is an essential component to run a healthy business. Although type of data tends to be protected as it’s encrypted, it is always wise for retailers to make sure they have extra measures in place to ease the threat of cybersecurity breaches. Utilizing AI, conducting regular employee training, implementing multi-factor authentication, mitigating ransomware, and ensuring practices are up-to-date are a few ways a retail business can ensure protection from these threats to keep customer data safe.

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