Contactless payments is a matter of safety and convenience

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Businesses have previously been conservative about the adoption of contactless, tap-to-pay features to collect payments from their customers. But as we look into the future of payments we have hit a tipping point in which businesses now need to be equipped for the rapidly evolving world of digital transactions or risk losing business to competitors who are.

New habits that have been established as a result of the coronavirus, and are accelerating adoption of contactless payment methods that go well beyond the traditional swipe and dip methods that until recently were the preferred ways of transacting.

This includes the embedding of advanced technology for a more simplified, unified payments experience - from mobile to web and even in person. The concept of contactless payments isn’t new but the pandemic has accelerated the demand and need for businesses to integrate these payment solutions into the very fabric of their business model.

Consumers have not only keyed in on the health and safety of using alternative touch-free payment options out of necessity, but have quickly realized the speed and convenience that comes with using these forms of payment. It is no longer a matter of whether a business should be modifying their infrastructures to support these new in-store and online purchasing behaviors, but when and, most importantly, how quickly.

At Fattmerchant when we looked at our current market, we learned that 30 million businesses are at risk of permanently closing. 53% lack any ecommerce capabilities and of those 30 million a shocking 26% didn’t process transactions because they didn’t have an alternate way for their customers to pay.

Time has proven that business must continue adapting to how consumers want to pay. That means that as businesses big and small look into new ways to continuously engage with their customers post-COVID, they will be faced with growing expectations to offer these contactless conveniences. Contactless is here to stay and those businesses that do not adapt to the new norm post COVID will be abandoned in favor of those who have integrated safer, more convenient contactless capabilities.

For better or worse, in the span of 3 months our business environment has fundamentally changed the adoption of this technology from a “nice to have” into an immediate need. As an economy, the United States did not progressively adopt contactless payments in comparison to global markets. Now, as adoption has been accelerated by necessity, businesses have realized that if they are not taking payments in a multitude of ways, they’re not surviving. The resulting impact from recent closures and physical limitations placed on SMBs have proven this to be true.

As consumers we all want products and services that are to-go and on-demand. We want services that remain mobile, where they can come to us if we have that desire or need. And we’re more than willing to pay the cost of convenience for those services, especially when it comes to making requests online or by phone.

Whether it’s for curbside pickup, delivery, or in-store pickup, consumers are up to 16% more likely to continue using these methods now that they have gotten a good taste of their ease and convenience. In addition, new innovations in wearable technology with embedded payment functions continue to be on the rise, from fitness trackers and smart watches to smart rings and even eyewear.

That means all businesses are now faced with the requirement of expanding their business-to-consumer infrastructure to include greater contactless technology outside of traditional card-present payment methods. Instead of simply having one or two ways for customers to make a service request and pay, now you need to be able send an invoice directly to the customers by email or by phone, to take payments over the phone, let customers submit a payment by from a mobile device, or even key in their payment information into your software themselves.

Today every business needs to be able to accept payments via every available channel and quickly adapt to new touch-free expectations in how services and goods are being delivered and paid.

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Coronavirus Contactless payments Digital payments Merchant