The Future of Payment Systems: Smarter, Faster, More Secure?
23 Sep 2015
Being able to take payments quickly and accurately is extremely important to any retailer. Customers that cannot pay because you don’t offer a wide enough variety of payment options, or who’ve given up shopping with you because the queues at the point of sale are too long, are lost customers that could’ve been banked by having the right payment set-up. These days, there’s really no excuse not to have the full suite of options, but more importantly, you should be ready to change to meet the demands of the modern consumer. The landscape is changing rapidly, and you need to be aware of it both for your customers’ needs and to keep an edge over your competitors.
Contactless payments with credit and debit cards has been around for several years now and more recently with the introduction of Apple pay. However, it’s still taking some time to properly permeate through retail establishments. The concept is simple; customers simply place their card by the reader and payment can be taken rapidly. There’s usually no need for a PIN, which makes things good for retailers as it dramatically reduces the time it takes to process a sale. There are of course security concerns, but this is addressed by heavy monitoring from the banks, and a limit on the size of transactions that occur which has recently raised from £20 to £30. However, If you run a high-end electronics shop for instance, where payments are typically higher than £30 don’t expect to see many payments of this type.
Contactless Smartphone Payments
The other method of payment that’s really taking off, though still slightly behind, is contactless payments with a suitably equipped smartphone. This works in a very similar way to credit cards, though there are a variety of different associated applications – there isn’t one unified service just yet, however more banks and merchants are adapting their services to incorporate this method of payment, into their business. The benefit on this front is the added security offered by the phone as opposed to a card, and the fact that you could potentially go shopping with only your smartphone. However, like contact less payments, there is a restriction on how much you can transaction.
Time will tell as to which method of payment will take off and which will sadly faze out, with each method having its own positives and negatives. The best advice is at this stage to simply give customers whatever they want. You’ll probably want to find a provider of merchant services such as Card Cutters if you’re going to fully take advantage of how these new payment methods are developing. This will take some of the work out of things.