By André Ferraz
As consumers have sought out ways to minimize contact, today’s new retail landscape has ushered in rapid changes in both online and offline shopping behavior. With consumers looking to minimize contact, online shopping has surged, and so has consumer enthusiasm for contactless payments.
The biggest retail surprise of the past 12 months has to be the emergence of QR code payments as the quick fix for deploying contactless payments without requiring dedicated POS hardware.
Up until 2020, the majority of contactless payment systems in use in the U.S. have been based on Near Field Communication (NFC) requiring dedicated POS hardware. In contrast, QR code contactless payments via smartphones require no dedicated hardware and are creating the biggest opportunities for retailers, both large and small.
QR code contactless payments can be easily integrated into a retailer’s app, offering opportunities for increased revenue and greater customer loyalty. CVS now offers its mobile app customers the option to pay via QR code contactless payments using PayPal or Venmo. Even better news for consumers is any CVS loyalty points will be automatically applied to the purchase.
But it is not just the major retailers who can benefit from this trend toward contactless payments. Small and medium businesses also have access to this type of functionality from PayPal. Every retailer with a mobile app should be prioritizing the addition of contactless payments via QR codes, as a vehicle to increase revenue and customer loyalty.
What should retailers be on the lookout for about contactless payments?
Fraudsters follow the money and will also have their eye on the increased volume of money moving through contactless payments. Given this, identity verification and authentication of mobile users is of increased importance to detect the use of stolen or synthetic identities. The use of behavioral biometrics is an increasingly important technique and is very effective for mobile users, particularly the use of location in verifying user behavior and detecting fraud.
Why is location so important? Contactless payments via mobile apps is where online and offline meet. When a consumer selects in-store contactless payments using a mobile app, real-time location verification can confirm the current location of the customer to verify that they are in fact in the store, versus a fraudster using stolen credentials.
2. PUSH TO PAY
Contactless payment via a mobile app offers the opportunity for retailers to drive increased revenues, using real-time location intelligence. When a customer enters a store, it is possible to send a reminder notification via the mobile app that contactless payment is available to them.
This notification can provide a push to pay capability – allowing the customer with one tap, to go directly to the app payment screen versus searching for the app and logging in.
3. BUY ONLINE AND PICK UP IN STORE (BOPIS)
This phenomenon is expected to continue as a primary mode of shopping. Integrating this capability into a retail mobile app along with contactless payments creates a seamless customer experience. Walmart and Target were quick to add these types of capabilities into their apps, but this addition would enhance any retailer’s customer service.
Contactless payments is one of the few positive things to come out of a challenging time for retailers. Consumers show no signs of going back to earlier payment methods and contactless payments are here to stay.