It’s not news that U.S. restaurateurs had to make numerous expensive shifts to stay afloat during COVID-19. But as we emerge from the crisis, many of the fixes that were put in place seem like they might be here for good — curbside pickup, increased outdoor seating, and contactless payments, to name a few.
The public has become hyper-conscious of what they come in contact with, including during the payment process, and the CDC now recommends using touchless payment cards whenever possible. Contactless payment is becoming the norm and will continue to increase. “There will be 2.7 billion contactless cards in circulation by 2023, thanks to the technology taking off in markets such as the U.S., Brazil, and South Asia,” according to the Thales Group. And the payment methods go beyond cards to include wearable devices from wristbands, fitness trackers and watches to jewelry and clothing.
But contactless payments have benefits beyond just addressing the public’s safety concerns. They also make you more competitive, giving your guests the opportunity to pay easily and quickly without contact puts you ahead of the curve with your competitors but also helps you turn your tables faster.
If you’re not using some sort of contactless payment in your business yet, it’s time to get up to speed.
What is contactless payment and how does it work?
There are several types of contactless payments:
- Tap to pay payment transmits information from a debit or credit card’s microchip to your payment terminal using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.
- Mobile payment uses near-field communication (NFC) technology. This lets your guests pay with their smartphone’s mobile wallet by just hovering their phone over your card reader. Payments process with an encrypted signal.
- Text-to-pay technology allows the customer to pay with their credit card from a link you send to their mobile phone.
- QR code payments, similarly, also allow the customer to pay with their credit card after they scan a QR code from their receipt.
While they are technically not contactless, you may also hear pay at the table, pay at the door, or sign on screen terminology lumped into the contactless group. While they technically involve some contact, they do require less back and forth contact between server/cashier and customer so are many times discussed along with other truly contactless options.
What Restaurateurs Need to Know About Contactless Payments
Consumers want to use contactless payment
In a survey by Visa, almost two-thirds of consumers surveyed say that post-vaccine, they would prefer to use contactless payments as much or more than they do currently. Convenience, health, and safety are driving reasons for this, with more than 79 percent of consumers worldwide now using contactless payment.
More than half of U.S. consumers have also used contactless payment, such as tap-to-go credit cards and mobile wallets like Apple pay, Google Pay and Android Pay.
Contactless payments are fast
Contactless payments are up to 10 times faster than some forms of in-person payments, meaning customers can shorten the time that they are face to face with someone not in their party and have control over the proximity to that person. That speed also helps you avoid front-of-house lines, giving your patrons the opportunity to safely distance if they choose. And getting people through the payment cycle faster means you turn over tables faster, and that boosts revenue.
Contactless payment is easy to implement
It’s easy to get started with contactless payments if your payment processor accepts contactless cards and mobile wallet payments. And your POS provider should be able to help you with the equipment you need to make sure it syncs up perfectly with your unique needs and any customizations you have in place with your POS system.
Customers spend more when using contactless payment
Contactless payment can help boost sales and not just due to speed. A study by MasterCard Advisors showed that credit card consumers who use “contactless” card transactions tend to spend more money than when they “swipe” or insert a chip card. And they don’t plan to stop — 74% of people say that plan to continue to use contactless payment forms post-COVID.
Contactless payments are predicted to continue to increase, so if you thought this was a trend that you could ignore, it’s time to reconsider. While the value of U.S. transactions with contactless forms was $178 billion in 2020, it’s predicted to rise to $1.4 trillion by 2024. If your restaurant isn’t ready to accept contactless payments, now’s the time.
Wondering if your POS can handle contactless payments and the new business it can bring with it? Find out how RPOWER POS can help your business grow.