Is No Passing Fad.
It’s The Future
By Kyle Pexton, President and CFO at NMI
Covid-19’s effect on the economy has been devastating, but the pandemic has forced retailers to innovate at a rapid speed — which is a good thing. This rapid innovation has resulted in the accelerated adoption of contactless payments.
Contactless payments (e.g., Apple Pay, Google Pay, tap-to-pay cards, etc.) are no longer a novelty. And adoption will only continue to accelerate: While the recent popularity of contactless payments was born out of necessity partly due to consumers’ safety concerns, the convenience and speed they offer has ensured that contactless will become a ubiquitous payment option across industries and payment experiences going forward.
For leadership teams across the retail and restaurant sectors, now is the time to begin forming your plan for accepting contactless payments in 2021. By doing so, you’ll be on track to keep up with — and even outpace — competitors in the new year.
Contactless payment methods offer immediate benefits and have staying power.
According to our recent data, about a quarter (23%) of businesses have reported losing a sale due to a lack of contactless payment options. While customer demand may be reason enough to adopt contactless payment methods, further value lies in the fact that contactless payments offer both immediate benefits and long-term staying power.
Consider the restaurant industry. Since March, thousands of quick-service restaurants were forced to quickly pivot and adopt new payments technology to make sure customers felt safe and to keep their businesses afloat. Contactless payments make it possible for restaurateurs to provide an alternative to traditional in-store payments and support the critical convenience options necessary for staying open when dining rooms close, such as online orders via an app and curbside pickup.
Adopting contactless payments can help your business remain financially viable in the present. But given their future potential, they may also play a role in helping your restaurant achieve a competitive advantage over the long term.
Once you deploy contactless payments, ensuring payment security is crucial.
As with any evolving technology, it’s important to consider potential security vulnerabilities. The following are some key security terms and practices to keep in mind as you adopt and implement contactless solutions:
Future-proofing your payments innovation hinges on agility.
Payments innovation and adoption are moving at an unprecedented pace — previously far-fetched ideas such as smart stores are no longer science fiction; they are reality. Because of this pace, you need to ensure your business remains flexible when it comes to payments. As a prime example, not many of us would have predicted that QR codes would make a comeback as a result of the pandemic.
The pandemic has taught us that it’s hard to anticipate what’s coming next. Even the way we pay could become obsolete, so you have to be prepared to adopt new payment innovations quickly. The old way of taking payments was device-specific. Now, payment acceptance is going to the cloud.
Cloud-based payments infrastructure is one way to help your business remain nimble. Cloud terminal software can help you innovate more quickly into the contactless world without manual payment integrations. Businesses can use cloud-based omnichannel commerce to encourage customers to come back by enabling a frictionless experience, such as multiple payment options, automatic loyalty enrollment and emailed receipts.
Leaders in the retail and restaurant spaces need to ensure their businesses can innovate and keep pace with rapid change. Customer demand and public health priorities are pushing contactless payment adoption, and it’s important to understand and take advantage of these trends while also having the flexibility needed to continue adapting to the change that’s still to come.
This article was originally published By Kyle Pexton, forbes.com.
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