Contactless Payments: The Future of a Socially Distanced World

Contactless Payments: The Future of a Socially Distanced World

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we travel, work, study, interact, and shop! When we say shop, it has also impacted the way we make our payments. One of the frequently-used buzzwords that have surfaced over the last few months is ‘contactless payment.’

In 2018, Americans were still far behind other countries when it came to the ‘death of the wallet.’ Back then, only 3% of the total card transactions in the US were contactless, while in the UK, it was close to 64%.

However, due to the newfound COVID-19 crisis, the idea of contactless payments has started making a lot more sense.

The rise of contactless payments

According to a recent survey cited by Bloomberg, 51% of Americans have resorted to contactless forms of payments. 56% of these respondents stated that they’d continue using such methods even after the pandemic slows down. This means that they’re reduced dependency on cash. This change has surfaced as a result of the health concerns that exist due to COVID-19.

According to Forbes, toward the end of March, around 22% of consumers around the world were relying on digital wallets to make their payments. Furthermore, as many as 29 European countries have removed the need for a PIN code entry at all major stores across the country. Walmart has particularly altered all of its self-checkout stations to make the transaction contactless. 75% of Mastercard’s transactions in Europe have gone contactless.

How do contactless payments work?

In a contactless payment system, you don’t have to physically swipe your card in a machine and don’t have to hand it over to sales personnel either. The idea is similar to you tapping your phone at a counter to pay for your cappuccino.

Contactless payments use the electromagnetic field-related technology called radio-frequency identification (RFID). Special memory chips called tags are employed in the devices that are used for the purpose. These tags enable one device to communicate with another when they’re placed at least a few feet apart from each other.

Another technology that falls under the umbrella of RFID is that of near-field communication (NFC). Unlike RFID, this technology only works when the distance between the two devices is only a few centimeters long. This also guarantees that you don’t end up pay for someone else’s groceries in a checkout line.

Take your payments one notch ahead!

You can now get tailor-made contactless payment solutions for your retail store in the form of unattended payment devices and mobile payment systems.

The unattended system comes with a reader, an antenna, and a controller, all combined into one unit. The device uses the NFC technology and is Compliant with EVA mounting requirements. There is also an LCD in place to inform the user about their transaction status. The contactless device is ideal for use at retail stores, kiosks, drive-throughs, parking lots, and vending machines.

UIC would be glad to assist if you’re ready to switch to secure payment methods like the contactless EMV payments. For more information, get in touch with our team and find out more about your options.  

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