The population of people that use traditional forms of payment methods to complete transactions is fast dwindling. Cash was a popular form of payment a few years ago. Today, contactless payment methods supersede it.
Novel coronavirus made customers apprehensive about coming into physical contact with anybody and anything. Because of that, buyers decreased using cash to purchase products as the virus can transmit through them.
Even as the pandemic is on the decline, customers continue to use contactless payment methods over cash. And parallelly, retailers are happy to accept contactless payments. Many factors attribute to this scenario. The end of the pandemic will not affect this development, as customers and retailers will continue to use the new mode of payment. It is a good idea to implement contactless payments with a POS billing software solution.
In this article, we briefly look at why retailers and customers are extensively using contactless payments. There are many benefits to using them. Let’s get started.
What are contactless payments?
These new payment modes are becoming the most used rapidly. Before we delve into the advantages of using them, let’s understand what they essentially are. Long gone are the days when cashiers and customers exchanged cash notes. Now it is possible to complete transactions without touching anything like the receiver’s hands or payment terminals.
Near Field Communication (NFC) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) are the technologies that enable this concept. There are various contactless payment systems. They include credit and debit cards, smart cards, and smartphone devices. The cards have a chip in them that transmits radio waves to pay for something. Smartphone devices, on the other hand, complete payments online.
The most common smartphone applications that support contactless payments are Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay. These apps require users to link their bank accounts. After that, customers can either scan the merchant’s QR code or bring their device in contact with the merchant’s NFC to complete secure payments.
Retailers who are reluctant to accept contactless payments can face strain in acquiring customers. Providing customers with the modern facility improves business prospects and keeps retailers on par with the current market trends.
The adoption of contactless payments is crucial for retail stores in present times. While cash continues to be a popular payment method, contactless payment methods are overtaking it rapidly. The convenience of instantly transmitting money to merchants outweighs the hassles of counting and exchanging paper currency.
Why customers are increasingly preferring contactless payments
Retailers can accept contactless payments, provided customers are using them. And customers are taking a liking to use payment modes that avoid physical touch. Let’s understand the reasons for this.
Contactless payments allow customers to pay for things and services without having to wait for a payment terminal. Mobile wallet payment services such as Google Pay lets customers scan a store or service’s QR code and make the purchase. When it comes to cards, customers with chips embedded in their credit/debit cards can simply tap it on an NFC-enabled terminal for payment. They are fast and efficient ways of paying for goods and services.
What are the two types of POS terminals?
Cash payments don’t require POS terminals. But if the payments you receive are card-based or contactless, both types of transactions require a payment terminal. It collects the information from the payment source and transmits the data to your server for processing. There are two types of POS terminals you can purchase. They are fixed and mobile POS terminals.
Fixed POS terminals are the conventional payment devices you find in many retail stores. They connect to an online server via a telephone line or a LAN cable. The old models only process card payments, while the new ones may process mobile wallet payments as well. As these types of terminals are tethered, the only way to use them is at the store premises.
The second type of POS terminal is mobile POS. Unlike the fixed POS terminal, this payment device can function wirelessly. It connects to the internet and the server via Wifi. Mobile POS terminals can process card payments as well as mobile wallet payments. They display QR codes for scan and paying, and also accept payments via NFC and RFID.
Contactless payments are gaining traction rapidly. Not only is it more hygienic, but it is also a more convenient way to pay for goods and services. It is the case, especially with mobile wallet payments. All consumers need to carry is their smartphone, and they can make instant, painless payments on the go. If contactless payments are your priority, then it is best to invest in a mobile POS terminal.
A critical aspect of the POS terminal you purchase you should look out for is security. Contactless payments go through by the wireless transfer of encrypted information from the source to the receiver. Flaws in security during this process can jeopardize the safety of payments. Ensure that the POS terminal you want to invest in has the latest security protocols.
Advantages of contactless payments for retailers
For any retail store to succeed in modern times, it is crucial to adopt contactless payments in addition to other payment modes. We recommend stores integrate contactless payments into their stores using cloud-based POS software. By doing so, retailers can enjoy a broad range of benefits that will boost the prospects of their stores. Let’s look at what they are.
Traditional payment terminals are expensive. In addition to the acquisition costs, they also require regular maintenance. That adds up to the store’s expense. Switching to contactless payment frees retailers from such financial commitments. Moreover, it raises customer satisfaction as customers can pay in any contactless mode they want.
Contactless payments are far more secure than traditional payment modes. The chips used in contactless debit/credit cards cannot be counterfeited easily. And contactless terminals only accept payments when a payment method is close by. It makes it difficult to accept payments from a far-off distance. This makes contactless payments highly secure.
Long checkout queues are frustrating for any customer. What makes the wait even longer is complications in entering payment details. Incorrect pins, faulty cards stall, and lengthen the checkout wait time. Stores can eliminate this problem with contactless payments. This way, all customers have to do is tap their cards on the payment terminal. The terminal collects the correct amount.
Cash changes a lot of hands. Bacteria and viruses fester on them as they keep moving from one place to another. That is hazardous, especially during the ongoing pandemic. This is not the case with contactless payments. They prevent the spread of any sort of virus or bacteria, making it a more hygienic way of completing transactions.
Which is the best software for billing?
Billing is a pivotal process at the end of a customer’s shopping journey. Ringing up the products customers have in their cart and completing the payment process is incomplete without producing a bill against the transaction. The bill is a mandatory document that represents proof of the transaction.
There are a number of important details bills contain. They include the name of the store, employee name, date & time of the transaction, list of goods, individual prices, total price, and tax details. Manually preparing and entering all of this information repetitively is cumbersome. Not only is it time-consuming, but it also opens up room for errors to occur.
An effective POS billing software application simplifies the process of preparing and generating bills against purchases. It accurately retrieves product information, implements precise GST, tax values, and prints all the other necessary information in the bill. As a result, it speeds up the billing process leading to shorter queues at the counter and happier customers.
SmartPOS is the best billing software for billing. The application contains cutting-edge modules to create, customize and quickly load up billing templates. Billing is an instant process with SmartPOS as it can connect with barcode scanners. This integration allows you to ring up the products in customers’ carts and add them o their bills at lightning speeds.
What’s more, is that SmartPOS accepts multiple modes of payment. While the software accepts cash, credit, and debit card payments, it also accepts contactless payments such as mobile wallets. With SmartPOS, you have the option to choose between printing paper bills, or sending them to your customers via electronic mediums. That is through e-mail, SMS, or in-app notifications.
How POS transactions work
Point of Sale software solutions systematically read and process payment information. Consisting of multiple components – the software and the payment terminal, they operate collectively to complete payments. After an employee rings up all the products in a customer’s cart, the customer can choose to pay through either cash or a contactless payment method.
If the customer chooses to pay via debit/credit card, your employee will need to insert/swipe the card on the payment terminal. The completion of the transaction happens over the internet. So long as the internet is working and stable, the payment will go through. It is a similar case when the customer opts to pay via mobile wallet payments. The payment terminal will display a QR code that the patron can scan and pay.
So in order to receive payments, a great many POS solutions in the market completely rely on the internet. And it has to be stable and fast. Otherwise, there will be delays in processing transactions, leading to longer checkout queues. Furthermore, a network outage can bring your checkout operations to a standstill.
At this point, you may ask “does the POS machine require internet?”. The answer to that is yes and no. Yes, because the software needs to sync up your transactions to the server. No, if you get a POS system that can also work offline. With a hybrid POS solution like SmartPOS, you can accept payments even when the network is down. The software stores the transaction data offline. When the network is back up and running, it syncs up all the information to the server.
Contactless payments are a must-have in today’s retail stores. If you run a store and haven’t implemented it yet, it is high time. At SmartPoint, we offer a holistic POS system called SmartPOS. It is packed with a wealth of store management features in addition to a world-class contactless payments system. Get in touch with us to know more.