Contactless payments – a guide for small businesses

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Debit and credits cards are quickly replacing cash as the payment method of choice for consumers.

Around six in ten sales transactions are made by debit or credit card, and an increasing number of those are contactless.

In fact, contactless payments have surged in popularity over the past 12 months because they are quick, convenient, secure and safe. The global coronavirus pandemic has played a significant role in driving the growth in contactless payments.

Many traditional bricks-and-mortar businesses have gone cashless to help reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Contactless payments have increased because they allow customers to pay for goods and services without physically touching the keypad of a card terminal.

In the UK, the contactless payment limit was increased from £30 to £45 in April 2020, in response to the coronavirus crisis. It is set to be further increased, to £100, at some point in 2021.

Many retailers and sales-based businesses now accept contactless payments and other new technology, such as mobile wallet payments, to enhance their customer experience. Here, we take a closer look at contactless payments and how your business can benefit.

How do contactless payment cards work?

Contactless payment cards work in a similar way to most payment cards. Whenever a purchase is made, the information is relayed from the card machine to the bank, and the payment is processed.

However, a major advantage of contactless payments is that they are much quicker than a Chip & PIN transaction – the user simply taps their card on a contactless reader without having to enter a PIN or other identification method.

Contactless cards have a tiny radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip embedded in the plastic that securely transmits information about the purchase to the contactless reader, which is then relayed to the customer’s bank for processing.

It’s not just credit and debit cards that enable contactless payments. Mobile phones, smart devices like tablets or watches, key fobs and even clothing stickers can all be embedded with RFID technology.

What are the benefits of contactless payments?

There are several benefits to contactless payments.

From a consumer perspective, they enable quick, convenient and secure transactions on smaller purchases and mean they don’t have to carry large amounts of cash around.

This ease of use and increased accessibility places businesses that offer contactless payments at a competitive advantage, as most consumers now expect outlets to accept contactless payments.

However, for business owners, there are also many benefits.

Many merchant providers charge lower or no fees on contactless debit card transactions, which can help you reduce your costs and boost your profit margins.

Contactless card machines are completely automated, which can keep staff time spent processing payments to a minimum and help reduce queues and bottlenecks in busy customer areas. They also reduce the need to handle cash and count change.

All contactless payments are secure and instant, meaning as soon as the card is tapped, you get the money in your bank account. And because they use the latest technology, they can be integrated seamlessly into your other business applications – such as your accountancy software – to help reduce admin and give you accurate, real-time sales data.

In the current climate, where coronavirus restrictions are still in place for many retail businesses, contactless payment machines also help reduce transmission risk, keeping your staff and customers safe. Customers won’t even need to touch the card machine with their hands, and receipts can be issued only when requested.

How can I accept contactless payments?

If you want your business to take contactless payments, you’ll need to invest in a contactless card machine.

We offer a range of different options to suit your business needs.

If you spend most of your time away from the workplace seeing clients and doing jobs, then being able to take secure payments on the go is essential. A mobile PDQ machine will enable you to stay connected with your business and accept payments from anywhere.

A countertop card machine is the perfect solution for checkouts, tills and reception desks in busy customer-facing environments.

And if you operate a larger retail outlet or a leisure or hospitality venue, a portable card machine will give you the ability to take payments from anywhere within your premises, whether that’s indoors or outdoors.

How Payaro can help

We provide fast and secure contactless card payment solutions that use the latest technology to help you deliver flawless customer service.

We work with like-minded customers to help them achieve their Corporate Social Responsibility goals and give something back with every payment they take. Our ground-breaking technology allows our customers to make a donation of their choice to one of our designated community partners with every transaction.

For a free consultation so we can understand your business requirements and develop a contactless payments solution that helps you reach your sales and customer service goals, get in touch today.