contactless payment

Since last March, retail technology investments have picked up with dramatic speed as retailers moved quickly to meet new consumer expectations. Perhaps one of the most discussed technology adaptations was the shift towards contactless payments.

According to a new survey, by Skynova, 92 percent of small business owners added contactless payment options immediately after the pandemic hit — an important upgrade since 87 percent of consumers believe that contactless payment methods will slow the spread of COVID-19.

Though while fear may have driven many immediate shifts in consumer behaviors at the beginning of the pandemic, many of the technology advancements, including contactless payments, have also catered to consumers’ preference for convenience. In fact, when asked why they prefer contactless payments while 66.5 percent said, “fear of COVID-19” 57.2 percent also said it was “more convenient.”

Moreover, Skynova found that contactless credit cards ranked as the top preferred modern payment solution and 58 percent of consumers said they had upgraded one or more credit and debit cards to be contactless during the pandemic. Further, 31 percent of consumers said they viewed businesses that do not offer contactless payments in a “more negative light.”

At the same time, small business owners said among the benefits of contactless payments the leading benefits were increased hygiene, safety for employees and customers during the pandemic, and faster transactions.

Important to note, however, are the customers who told Skynova that the “newness of contactless payments” caused some doubts including 63.3 percent who said that the option “enabled purchasing that is too easy,” 47 percent who feared it makes credit card information less secure, and 42.3 percent who said contactless payment options make them “worry about personal finances.” Researchers note that while there is fear around it, the reality is that contactless payments “can actually be more secure than conventional payment methods” due to the technology not transmitting full credit card number or the security code on the card.

Still, the researchers note that with higher expectations from consumers small businesses must consider the negative impacts of not adopting contactless payments.

The top reason small business owners told Skynova they do not offer contactless payment is the preference for using cash. However, 36 percent of small business owners said they simply cannot afford to upgrade while another 36 percent said they have had issues with the upgrade in the past, and 34 percent “just don’t trust contactless payments.”

As consumers continue to shift preference and often expect contactless payment options, business owners estimated that 68 percent of customers “genuinely appreciate the effort behind the offering.” Additionally, 91.4 percent of small business owners said they had plans to add contactless payment options.

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