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Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers were showing a preference for contactless payment. Phones became the equivalent of debit and credit cards, and businesses saw more customers extending their phones for a scan or looking for the right place to use NFC-enabled devices to submit payment.
Even customers who still pull out their plastic want a place to tap rather than swipe it. This move toward contactless payments is about more than avoiding illness. Learn why contactless payment is better than swiping a card.
It seems like people always have their phones available—in their hands, in a back pocket, and sometimes in a purse. Pulling your phone out to make a payment is easier than digging around in your wallet for a specific credit or debit card.
Consumers who still pay with plastic still prefer to “tap” rather than “swipe” or “dip.” Fraud from surreptitious card readers has gotten enough publicity to make card users leery of swiping.
Fast-food operations have also discovered customers expect restaurants to have convenient handheld credit card readers that servers can extend from inside the payment window, allowing a driver to easily tap their card or hold their phone out.
Better fraud protection is perhaps the most significant reason why contactless payment is better than swiping a card. Businesses that mount their card readers on credit card machine holders will find they have greater customer satisfaction if the holder accommodates a machine that offers near-field communication (NFC) capability. NFC technology requires that a chip or a phone be just a few centimeters away. It then translates the data into a one-time, unique electronic “token” that bad actors can’t reverse engineer or use again.
In addition to fast-food restaurants, grocery stores and other retail operations also benefit from the efficiency of contactless payment.Transmission of the token created through NFC technology is nearly instantaneous, and consumers receive an electronic receipt and/or an electronic alert and record in their digital wallet. These take much less time to generate than a printed receipt, not to mention saving paper.
Most businesses rely on credit or debit card payments. Although there are still those people who insist on writing checks, most customers trust NFC technology and understand it is safer than swiping their card’s magnetic strip. If you’re not already providing this option, consider adding it to your brick-and-mortar business operation.