Business tips

Contactless payments in the era of a cashless future.

By Ryan Gibbons on
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We have come a long way from the times when customers passed coins and crumpled bills across the counter to pay for their purchases. These days, fewer people carry cash than ever before. The new emphasis is on payments that are fast, frictionless, and secure. Contactless transactions truly hit the sweet spot, enabling customers and merchants alike to reap these benefits without ever needing to come into physical contact with each other.

How do contactless payments work?

One of the main drivers of our increasingly cashless society is mobile technology, including smartphones and wearable devices such as watches and fitness trackers. Thanks to these devices, customers can now pay with a quick wave.

It is the near-frequency communication (NFC) technology that is built into today’s smart payment devices and contactless card readers that makes this possible. The customer first stores their credit card payment information in their device’s digital wallet. At the time of purchase, the customer then accesses the wallet, places the device near the merchant’s reader, and in just moments, the transaction is completed. 

A lot goes on behind the scenes during those few seconds. The customer’s payment information, already encrypted and stored securely in the wallet, is assigned a single-use token. This random set of numbers is what is sent during the payment, preventing hackers from copying the real card number.

The data is sent instantaneously to the payment processor and then to the customer’s bank for verification of identity. A check is also done to ensure that there are sufficient funds in the account. If all is well, word of the acceptance is passed on to the processor and then back to the contactless reader. In most cases, the customer will hear a beep to signify that the payment has been accepted. All of that in just a few frictionless seconds. 

How can contactless payments pad your profit margin?

Have no doubt: The trend away from cash and towards more convenient ways to pay is here to stay. As a business owner, you cannot afford to remain mired in the last century when bills and coins were king. The only way to continue to keep current customers and attract new ones is to offer them the convenient payment options they’ve come to expect. 

Here are just some of the pluses that touchless payments can bring to your business.

  • They give buyers what they want. In an era when hygiene is more important than ever, contactless payments help buyers feel safe. What’s more, the fact that you have taken the trouble to implement these options lets your customers (and staff) know that you truly put them first. 
  • They’re lightning-fast. Long lines at the checkout counter mean frustration for buyers and staff alike. When payments are made with no fumbling for cash or cards and instead, completed within seconds, the queue moves faster, the people are happier, and staff time can be devoted to other pressing matters. 
  • They help you keep security a top priority. Because of technology like certified, point-to-point encryption, and tokenization, touchless payments are just as safe from hackers as are regular credit card transactions. 

As a business owner, monitoring your bottom line is likely a constant obsession. When you bring contactless payments into the picture, you’ll be providing a service customers want. That means there’s a good chance that you will see your profit numbers increase. There is no time like the present to jump on the contactless payments train. Your bottom line will thank you.