4 Tips for Setting Up Contactless Payment
COVID-19 has altered the way we do business and may have ushered in a new era in commerce. The long term effects are too early to determine right now but many businesses are being forced to accelerate their timelines for adopting newer technology and implementing operational changes.
At the core of all these alterations is an emphasis on the safety of staff and customers. Contactless payments are ideal for reducing person-to-person contact and improving our ability to adhere to social distancing.
What is Contactless Payment?
Contactless payment is a secure way for customers to buy products and services using a variety of methods with near-field communication (NFC) or radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology. The customer only has to tap their device or card near a terminal that is equipped with compatible technology. This is ideal in the current situation because people can complete a transaction in person while still maintaining adequate distance. It’s also convenient for many customers. In this article, you’ll get insights and tips that’ll help you set up contactless payments in a way that’s beneficial to you while maximizing convenience for customers.
Asses your current transaction mix
Certain businesses such as bars, restaurants, laundromats, etc. process a large number of cash only transactions. Other businesses like certain hospitality brands, retail fashion stores, furniture stores, etc. generate most of their income through credit card or other cashless methods.
This may seem irrelevant at first glance but it’s important to take note of. Cash businesses tend to have smaller transaction amounts while businesses where other forms of payments dominate tend to have large transactions. This payment route, though widely adopted, have a transaction size limit that’s well below that of credit cards or debit cards protected by a PIN.
The limit on transaction amount varies from one merchant bank to another and even between apps used to handle your cards for contactless payments. That’s why it’s important to understand your transaction mix from the beginning. If you know you have many expensive purchases that are a few hundred up to thousands of dollars then it may not be ideal. On the other hand, if you have many low value cash transactions it may be worth your time to get started with this new payment method.
Ensure it fits into your existing workflow
In addition to helping you keep customers and staff safe, one of the major benefits of adopting a contactless payment system is speed. On average, EMV transactions take 30 seconds and contactless payments take about 15 seconds. It may not seem like a big difference but it can have a noticeable impact during peak hours.
All of these gains can be lost if your existing workflow doesn’t support it or if it’s implemented in a way that hampers the inherent benefits. For example, your customers have lined up and waited to make an order and then need to line up again to use the contactless terminal. That would be more detrimental than beneficial for everyone involved.
Think about how it’ll fit into your current workflow. Do you need to change things around to make it work? Are your customers already familiar with the entire process? Will you have to start educating people about how to use it before it’s widely adopted? These are just a few of the things that need to be considered before implementing contactless payments.
Check your current tech stack for compatibility
Many people shy away from implementing new technologies such as paperless invoicing, online invoicing software, marketing tech, etc. because they’re not sure their current tools will be compatible. This is a legitimate concern. You don’t want to start a costly migration when you’re not sure about how well the changes will be received and adopted by your staff and customers.
The good news is that there’s a chance the equipment you already use is compatible with NFC or RFID technology. Newer POS terminals provided through vendors like Quickbooks come ready to use for contactless payments. Older POS solutions may not be compatible.
Knowing this ahead of time will allow you to make the necessary plans. If your POS already supports NFC or RFID then it’s just a matter of setting it up to work with your online invoice software or payment processor. If, on the other hand, it’s not compatible then you may need to invest in newer equipment. If the cost seems to be an issue, keep in mind that many platforms provide payment plans for equipment you purchase through them if you’re already a customer. Check with your customer support or account manager to see if the retail POS solution you work with offers something similar.
Continually train your staff
The last and arguably most important step for seamlessly implementing a new payment method in your business is making sure your staff members are properly trained. A poor experience at the point of checkout will dampen the spirits of your team and the people they’re there to serve. If the customer who has a bad experience isn’t a regular patron, then it could create the wrong impression of your brand and lead to them shopping elsewhere in the future. This is easily preventable when you take the time to ensure the people who are in charge of the system are well versed on its functioning.
There are many ways to go about this. You can hire a consultant to walk you and your staff through setting up the system, the benefits to the customer, troubleshooting, and security features. All of this information will be needed if you want to get customers on board. Conversely, you can reach out to your POS provider and ask them to walk you through the nuances of the system.
Be sure that you understand the following things:
- Benefits to the customers
- How it secures the customers information
- How to troubleshoot
- The maximum spending limits
- How to activate it on your end and any special considerations
From there, you can set up a training session with your team members and make sure everyone is well-versed in its operation. In the end, the route you take will depend on available resources and your familiarity with the system.
Implementing a contactless payment solution can be beneficial for you in many ways. It makes business sense because of increased efficiency but it also makes health sense in light of COVID-19. Even though it may be a good choice right now, it’s important to follow best practices for setting it up – just like with any new technology.
This article has gone through a few important tips that should come in handy when you’re making the switch. Ensure it makes sense for your business and transaction mix, check your current tech stack for compatibility, and then take the time to train your team properly. Do those right and you’ll see the benefits of the new system sooner rather than later.
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