Successful companies are able to adapt their business model to the ever-changing environment around them. As technology improves, this means the behaviour and spending patterns of your target audience will also shift. You must recognise these changes and acclimatise to them.
One such change comes with contactless payments – the latest in a line of payment technologies that have evolved rapidly over the past decade. Previous adaptations, such as chip & PIN readers and instant card swiping, resulted in an increase in card transactions when they were introduced.
A similar pattern has begun to emerge with contactless technology. Statistics by the UK Cards Association shows that over 102 million contactless cards are currently in issue, an increase of around 27% on last year.
How to Accept Contactless Cards
This demonstrates how important it is for business owners to offer contactless payment readers in their physical outlets.
To obtain one, you need to speak to a card acquirer directly. There are plenty of terminal providers to be found online, such as Worldpay, Clover and PaymentSense
Make sure the devices have contactless capability before completing a purchase, as opposed to the standard chip & PIN machines. Terminals that do will display the contactless symbol as displayed below:
Advantages of Contactless Cards
With consumers adapting quickly to the contactless system, there are plenty of benefits for investing in a compatible terminal machine.
For a start, the business transaction is made far quicker. A simple placement of the card over the reader will confirm payment in a straightforward ‘tap and go’ procedure.
On average, the contactless transaction will take less than 15 seconds. Chip & PIN can take over 30 – not to mention the hassle if a buyer mistypes or forgets their PIN. This leads to shorter queuing times, happier customers and increased sales.
The notion of contactless payments draws many to believe fraud will be widespread. However, the stats tell a different story and less than 1p in every £100 is spent as a consequence of criminal activity.
To ease security fears even further, contactless cards currently have a limit of £30 per transaction.
In addition, there are further measures designed to alleviate suspicious behaviour. If a vast number of payments take place over a short period, the user will then be asked to enter the card PIN – more often than not, this will stop any further spending. Likewise, any card reported lost or stolen will be immediately cancelled by the bank.
For businesses across the UK, it’s within your interests to recognise buying trends and adapt to customer spending habits. Statistics show that contactless payment activity is steadily increasing, meaning you should invest in the compatible terminals if you haven’t done so already.
Advertise clearly around the premises and shop window that you accept contactless payments. This will help encourage potential customers from the high street into the store.
Staff members should also inform customers of the contactless system, especially when they’re about to pay. Some people, especially the elderly, may not be aware their card carries this technology so may need a helping hand.
New ways of paying aren’t the only changes in technology that will affect you business in the upcoming year. Find out how HMRC’s move to digital will realistically affect your business.