Mainstream money: Changing your small business with contactless payments

SMEs need to look to it as an opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competition, and provide a seamless experience that keeps their customers coming back time after time.

Fast, simple, secure

It’s fair to say that the contactless payments revolution is already in full swing; more than £2.5bn was spent in the first half of 2015 alone, with more than 69m such cards in circulation, according to the UK Cards Association.

However, while contactless payments have been around for several years, it is only in the last few that it has become mainstream, and something that all businesses – large or small – need to think about adopting.

The underlying technology involves a tiny antenna which is placed inside the consumer’s credit, debit or charge card, mobile device, key fob or wearable device. When it is placed against the contact terminal, the relevant data is sent between the two and the terminal contacts the issuing bank to OK the transaction. It’s fast, simple and highly intuitive – exactly what today’s time poor consumers demand.

Already big high street names, including Pret a Manger, Wetherspoons, and Boots, have signed up to contactless payments. Transport providers like TfL and Stagecoach are also supporting the method, which will help increase user familiarity with the standard.

Business owners need to ensure they are keeping pace, or risk customers being lured away to the larger chain establishments.

Read more on contactless payments:

The next push

So what exactly are the benefits of adopting contactless payments? Why should small business owners care? For those that think contactless is only relevant to larger retailers – think again.

The rise in spend limit via contactless card from £20 to £30 shows how much customers value convenience. Being able to literally ‘tap and go’ is a major selling point for shoppers, hence the limit rise.

For small businesses with a high volume of low spend, contactless offers another route to success by helping to maximise every interaction to meet tight profit margins and drive growth. Simply put, contactless means being able to serve customers faster and cut down queues. Using contactless means you’ll never miss a sale during peak times.

Thinking about adopting contactless? Check out the six-step guide to embracing the payment method on the next page.

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