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The rise of digital wallets & contactless payment solutions.
Contactless payments allow consumers to have a secure method to make product purchases with their credit, debit card, mobile phone or smartwatch. The technology used in contactless payments – RFID(“radio-frequency identification) and near field communication (NFC).
Contactless payments are made by tapping your contactless-enabled device on a mobile card reader (point of sale terminal) that has contactless technology. Contactless payments do not require payments to be authorised by inputting your PIN. This allows for faster, more convenient payments however in the UK the max cost limit on most contactless purchases is £30. Contactless payments are usually made by using our credit and debit cards however in recent years we have seen the emergence of digital wallets.
What is a digital wallet?
A digital wallet (also called an e-wallet) has changed the way we pay for things. Most digital wallets work through the use of our mobile smartphones. A digital wallet can be described as a digital version of a traditional wallet that we carry in our pockets. Digital information on our credit and debit cards are stored online allowing us to make payments through our online mobile devices. Along with card data they can set up loyalty cards, coupons and work on a varied amount of payment terminals enable with RFID or NFC technology.
What are the most popular digital wallets?
Google Pay first launched in May 2016 under the name Android Pay as a mobile payment method that allows consumers to make payments using their mobile phone or smartwatch. As smartphones have become a major part of lives phones have become an item people have with them 99% of the time along with their wallets and keys.
People now want convenience and Google Pay makes making payments quick and easy for customers. All that is required to make a purchase is to tap your phone or Google Pay device on a contactless card reader.
Apple Pay like Google Pay allows customers to make contactless payments
via their mobile phone or smartwatch. Apple Pay comes with the added benefit of users not being restricted by the £30 contactless limit that is in place on contactless credit and debit card payments.
Samsung Pay makes making and taking payments easy. Widely accepted due to having both
NFC and MST support making payments can be done in a matter of seconds. It is safe and secure as Samsung has added several layers of security to ensure it is locked and cannot be abused by third parties. In addition, if you ever lose your phone you can deactivate your device remotely to stop fraud.
How can businesses ensure they accept contactless payments?
To accept contactless payment a business must ensure they have a card machine with contactless technology. With over 90+ million contactless cards in the UK, the number of contactless payments has been on a steep rise over the last 5 years. Customers now trust the technology as it has become more mainstream into public norms. For a business contactless technology allows them to take payments quicker which has resulted in fewer queues or waiting for their customers.
The max limit on contactless payments in the UK is currently £30 a transaction. For customers who pay via a digital wallet such as Google Pay or Apple Pay, this limit does not exist however some merchants have the option of putting it in place.
Best contactless payment machines for small businesses
There are many contactless payment machines on the market for businesses who want to allow their customers to be able to make contactless payments through both their credit cards or digital wallets. For small or independent businesses a mobile card reader like iZettle, Sumup or Square can be seen as the perfect solution. All the mentioned card readers allow merchants to use their phones to take payments with the help of the card reader device. Price is affordable with the merchant paying a one-off cost for the mobile card device and then transaction fees every time a payment is made.
A merchant account from providers such as Worldpay, Sagepay or Barclaycard may be more suitable to small to medium businesses. When choosing the right provider business must ensure the credit card terminal they will be provided by the merchant service provider has contactless technology-enabled. Popular credit card machines with contactless technology are provided by Ingenico, Verifone and Spire.
What does all this mean for businesses?
As a business not only can you not afford to not accept card payments but you now need to also ensure the payment solution you provide allows for contactless payments. We now live in an almost “cashless society” where customers no longer carry cash in their pockets and expect everywhere they go to allow them the option of making payments by their card or a contactless device. Contactless card machine solutions are affordable, growing in popularity and are provided by a vast array of card payment providers in the UK. Don’t get left behind and lose out on customers by not having contactless payment solutions in place.