The pros and cons of contactless payments
Tips / 17.09.2020
As of March 2020, 85.2 million contactless cards were debit cards, making this the most common type of contactless payment card on the British market.
Millions, if not billions, of contactless transactions, have taken place in the UK and in Europe as a whole, over the past few years.
Using Near-Field Communication (NFC) and RFID technology, they have revolutionised the payments landscape.
Whereas consumers use them for their safety and convenience, merchants have incorporated payments technology to accept these payments to increase security, reduce long queues and offer their customers more ease when making payments.
Although there are several pros to making contactless payments, they don’t come without a downside.
In this blog post, we explore some of the advantages and disadvantages of such payments.
Keep reading for more!
Although we can’t cover all the pros to contactless payments here (and there are many), we’ll stick to some of the most prominent ones, namely, speed and efficiency, safety and hygiene, and customer satisfaction.
Speed and efficiency
A contactless payment takes seconds to process.
You simply hover the card above the card payment device and the payment is processed nearly instantly.
Also falling within the scope of contactless payments are smart watches, key fobs, rings and others.
Removing the need for carrying cash, or having bulky purses and wallets, they also offer an element of efficiency to their users.
All you have to do is tap to pay.
Safety and hygiene
With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, major financial institutions issued higher contactless limits around Europe.
The purpose of this move was to reduce points of contact between customers and merchants or their staff.
This contact reduction makes for increased safety and better hygiene.
This is why contactless payments are considered to be a healthier method of paying.
Due to the speed at which contactless payments are processed, waiting lines are almost a thing of the past.
Less waiting at a queue means less customer frustration and more satisfaction.
This applies to both the consumer and the merchant.
When a customer sees that a merchant has implemented their preferred payment technology, they’re likely to come back for more.
Ultimately, it’s a win-win for both sides.
As with all things in life, there are cons to nearly everything.
In this section, we talk about some of the cons of contactless payments including security, low spending limits and their limited acceptance.
Because contactless limits were increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this means that if your card is lost or stolen, the fraudster will be able to make purchases below or at the contactless limit and early detection of such fraudulent activities might not be easily done.
This is why the security of contactless cards and payments is a serious consideration.
However, this can easily be circumvented by contacting your bank or financial services provider immediately once you are aware of the theft or loss of your card.
Most institutions will be able to cover you for your losses.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic ushered in higher contactless limits, these limits are not always suitable for larger purchases.
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to buy a TV or a sofa with your contactless card.
But it’s not all doom and gloom.
To make your purchase, you’ll simply be required to enter your PIN, as long as you remain within your daily spending limit.
Countries like Germany and Italy are still heavily reliant on cash payments.
One such reason is privacy and the role of the state.
This means that retailers and merchants in Germany, as well as consumers, have not yet taken up wholeheartedly on contactless payments.
This, too, is likely to change in the future due to some of the pros mentioned above, however.
Whatever the future holds, it seems that contactless payments are here to stay.
If you look at the cons, you’ll see that they can be easily surmountable by smart steps you can take to protect yourself from fraud.
As for the pros, they certainly are appealing to an increasing number of consumers (and merchants) and for good reason.
If you don’t yet have a contactless card, isn’t it time you got one?
In particular, you will be pleasantly surprised by the myPOS Platinum range of Silver, Gold and Metal cards, available and ready to order for all myPOS merchants.
With an extensive range of benefits, you won’t go wrong by ordering yours!
The ease and convenience will be worth it!