The Contactless Payment Future: How and Why Retailers Should Adapt ASAP

According to Visa’s 2023 Global Back to Business Study, we’re continuing to see a massive shift toward contactless and digital payments among consumers, with 82% of shoppers now using digital payments for well over half of their shopping (58%).

In fact, 41% of retail shoppers now say they will eventually go entirely cashless, and 59% of small businesses, including retailers, predict that they’ll go cashless within the next two years.

It’s all part of a huge and rapid change in payment methods and technologies that began slowly before COVID-19 but accelerated dramatically during the pandemic.

As the pandemic unfolded, Visa’s Back to Business study found that 78% of consumers had changed their shopping habits, including using less cash and using contactless payments at checkouts. But that pandemic-inspired change is now part of a new permanent reality.

In fact, the Pew Research Center has found that 41% of Americans now make none of their typical weekly purchases using cash, and those who make all of their purchases using cash has plummeted to just 14%.

Overall, according to MasterCard’s Contactless Consumer Polling, 51% of Americans now use some form of contactless payment, with 38% of them using contactless payment in retail. Moreover, as consumers continue to shift toward digital and contactless payments, and as they enjoy the speed and convenience of these methods, the stakes have become much higher for retailers.

Visa’s 2023 Back to Business study found that 59% of consumers had not made a purchase because digital payments weren’t available, and its 2022 study found that 36% of consumers say that accepting digital payments is one of the most important factors in their brick-and-mortar shopping experience, outside of price.

This is why it’s crucial for retailers to have the right point-of-sale systems and technologies in place to accept both cash and cashless payments, including the latest digital and contactless methods such as tap-to-go credit cards and mobile wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Implementing or Expanding Support for Contactless and Digital Payments

The good news is that the rapid expansion and growing popularity of contactless and digital payments mean that software and hardware solutions or upgrades to enable these methods are readily available. At ReSource POS, we continually work with our retail and restaurant clients to deploy point-of-sale solutions or upgrade their current systems to support tap-to-go cards, mobile wallets, and other digital and contactless payments.

Sometimes it’s as simple as upgrading to newer payment terminals that support proximity payment cards and capitalizing on the existing contactless payment capabilities in their point-of-sale software. In other cases, it might be an overhaul of their current point-of-sale systems, with deployment of new software and hardware to enable many different improvements, including digital payment acceptance as well as more efficient and effective mobile customer service, merchandising, inventory management, self-service checkouts or customer service kiosks, and management of curbside pickups or even direct store deliveries.

Ultimately, it depends on where you are in your own retail evolution and where you and your customers want you to be.

As an example, we’ve helped many retailers not only upgrade their point of sale and payments systems but unify them across all channels, so they can use one simple yet powerful solution for all touch points across both in-store shopping and e-commerce. This allows them to deploy one point-of-sale software solution across different kiosks, digital terminals, mobile devices and other technologies, with support for tap-to-pay and mobile wallets built in.

For example, we’ve partnered with Zebra Technologies, a leader in digital retail kiosks and rugged mobile tablets and touch computers, to enable access to NCR and other point-of-sale software from virtually anywhere, in any configuration, to match specific retail requirements.

We also integrate next-generation payment terminals with these configurations, to enable acceptance of contactless payments and digital wallets, whether a customer is paying at a traditional checkout, a self-service terminal, or even in a store aisle or the curbside through mobile-enabled store associates.

In the end, these solutions allow retailers to accept both cash and cashless payments and to support the methods their customers prefer, all while keeping up with rapidly changing trends in the retail marketplace, including growth in e-commerce, mobile, buy online and pick up in store (BOPIS), curbside pickup and more.

As we head toward an increasingly cashless and digital economy, adapting to these new channels and payment methods isn’t going to be a choice; it’s already a necessity. That means now is the time to think about and explore ways to add or expand your support for the latest payment methods and retail channels.

To learn more and get expert recommendations and guidance for your business, feel free to contact our point of sale and retail technology experts at ReSource POS. We’d be happy to learn more about your business and your customers, share insights on the latest developments in payment and retail technology, and recommend strategies and solutions that are the right fit for you.

To get started, just contact us now.