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How to quickly start accepting contactless payments for your business

Articles
04 Mar 2023

Want to go contactless? Here’show

In recent months, cash-free payments have effectively become the default way of paying. But even before COVID-19 hit, the shift towards digital payment methods had been gradually building for years. Looking ahead, it’s likely customers will permanently change the way they pay for things forever.

As such, it’s important that your business is prepared to accommodate this boom in contact-free payments to match customer demands. After all, the more payment options your business has, the possible customers you can serve.

Looking to go cash-free? Here are four simple steps to never having to get change out of a till again.

Step 1: Upgrade your equipment

Of course, the first step is to get the right contactless payment equipment in. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to mean large upfront expenditure on a variety of complicated new technology.

Smartphones and credit cards use a technology called Near Field Communication (NFC) to relay information over the air about transactions. You’ll need an NFC-enabled card reader to be able to start processing these payments.

This requires a plugin reader to your existing payment hardware – or you could set yourself up to take payments via an app, such as Square, with an associated NFC card reader. Alternatively, you might want to use this as an opportunity to update your equipment to a fully integrated terminal.

Step 2: Work out your software needs

Next, it’s a matter of making sure that your software is updated to be able to process contactless payments. If you’re choosing to upgrade your whole payment system with new equipment and an integrated terminal, then this will usually arrive with the new software required to get your system up-to-date.

If you’re just adding a reader to your current system, you’ll likely need to install new software. It’s also worth speaking to your payment-processing provider to ensure that your new equipment and software are set up to accept all major credit cards.

Step 3: Train your staff

One of the many advantages of accepting contactless payments is that it greatly increases the speed with which you process customers at the POS (Point of Sale). Now you can improve the consumer experience and free up your staff’s productivity.

To maximise this opportunity, it’s important to make sure your staff are completely happy using your new contactless system and understand the local rules about payments wherever you are – such as contactless payment limits.

In the first few weeks of having the technology installed, it’s worth putting in regular check-ins with your team to see whether there are any wrinkles that need to be ironed out.

Step 4: Test and evolve

As with anything, your understanding and use of these new systems will improve over time. Be prepared to run into bumps with operating your contactless equipment in the first few weeks. However, take these moments as a chance to improve your service and the overall customer experience.

It’s worth noting that the payment space is evolving all the time. Bank cards have started introducing fingerprint scanners to enable secure purchases higher than the contact-free limit in a number of countries, for example. Similarly, customers paying using their phones can now verify their payment without having to enter a pin.

Setting up your business for contact-free payments can seem a little overwhelming initially – but the benefits of doing so are considerable. Do remember that there are a range of resources online if you are struggling with a certain element.

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