The economic and social disruption caused by COVID-19 has drastically changed consumer behaviour. In the past 12 months, we saw merchants quickly move their operations online—launching e-Commerce sites and other digital platforms—and offer contactless payments to customers to adapt to the pandemic context and continue driving revenue. A year later, we can ask ourselves the question: Are these changes temporary or will they remain post-COVID?
In the case of e-Commerce, 2020 reports by Statista and Statistics Canada suggest that global online sales are soaring and are showing no signs of slowing down. Other recent studies also show a rise in demand for contactless payments and that consumers will likely continue using this option after the pandemic. The NFCW—a payment technologies and trends Knowledge Centre based in the UK—reported in May 2020 that “49 countries had announced contactless payment transaction limit increases ranging from 25% to 400%, with an average of 131%” since the beginning of the pandemic. In an article published last June, Forbes reported that “the overall usage of contactless payments in the United States had risen 150% since March 2019”, which is significant, since before COVID-19 the U.S. had never really adopted e-wallets compared to China or other Southeast Asian and European countries.
The pandemic created a high sensitivity to physical contact, which explains the rise of contactless payments over the last year. But having the option to pay by simply tapping your card, waiving your phone next to a POS, or checking out online with just one click without entering your NIP or any other sensitive information, has significant advantages for consumers and merchants:
1. Contactless payments are secure. They rely on near-field communication (NFC) a sound technology allowing payments to work over a noticeably short distance and offering extra security features such as user initiation, two-factor authentication, and secure element validation that help protect customer data.
2. Contactless payments can be completed in a few seconds. With no card or cash involved, the transaction rate is much faster which helps reduce lineups and because the transaction only involves a tap, business owners can have less employees at the cash and more on the floor helping clients and improving service.
3. NFC technology makes contactless payments convenient. Customers can tap their wallet on a POS without having to remove their card or pay with their smartphone or another mobile device. Major credit card companies like Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and Discovery are also making it easier for online shoppers offering the Click to Pay option to their clients worldwide.
4. Secure, faster, and convenient transactions help businesses improve in-store and online sales because contactless payments require little effort. Customers are not stressed or distracted by the amount of cash they need to carry or by the payment process and can focus on buying.
5. Merchants offering contactless payments can devote more time answering their customers’ needs, which helps them improve the overall customer experience and create customer loyalty and retention.
Contactless payments answer specific needs that consumers and retailers had even before COVID-19: security, speed, convenience, a positive consumer experience, and a high conversion rate. These elements are also the core pillars of an outstanding consumer experience and of a successful sales strategy, which is why contactless payments will continue to make sense even after the pandemic.
Since the beginning of the outbreak, OTT Pay has made every effort to help its merchants navigate the rapidly evolving consumer landscape caused by COVID-19 by offering them e-Commerce and digital payment solutions that make sense in the current context but also in the long-run. We can help your business too. Contact our Customer Support team today for a free consultation at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-800-688-9838.