Why contactless payments are a smart and safe option for small businesses

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Contactless card payments have expanded to a point over the past couple of decades where virtually all major retailers offer contactless as a form of payment, with 80 per cent of retailers accepting contactless payments, according to data from digital brand experts Radiyant.

But beyond major retailers, the versatility of contactless technology has opened contactless payments up to small and medium-sized businesses as well as large corporations. Today, with the right tools and support, and a little technical know-how, even the smallest independent traders can accept contactless payments with ease. In fact, accepting contactless card payments offers small businesses a plethora of benefits other forms of payment may not.

So if you’re a small business owner and you’re yet to offer contactless card payments for your customers, here’s why it would be a smart and safe option.

Security

When contactless cards were first rolled out to the masses, there were countless people talking about the potential dangers of contactless technology and how easy it would be for a thief to simply scan your card and steal all your cash.

Of course, all of these fears have since been debunked, which has helped contactless become the payment superpower it is today. In fact, the opposite is true – contactless payments are one of the safest ways to pay on the market today, thanks to the ingenuity behind the technology.

When you tap your card on a contactless card machine to make a payment, the data that is sent between your card, the card machine and the merchant account is all encrypted. This means, even if a cybercriminal was monitoring the business’s network activity, they’d be unable to make any use of the data being transferred without the encryption key – which they wouldn’t have access to.

According to technology solutions experts Enel X:

“Thanks to advancements in digital payment technology and cyber security, including rigorous encryption and authentication protocols, digital payments are more efficient and safer than offline payments… With innovative technology and rigorous security, digital payments are low risk and provide an additional layer of purchase protection.”

So if you’re looking for a secure and reliable way to take payments from your customers as a small business owner, contactless is a smart way to go.

Easy to monitor for tax purposes

As a small business owner, it’s your responsibility to keep a steady track of your income and outgoings, so you can file an accurate tax return before the end of the financial year. If all of your customers are paying by cash, you’ll need to tally up that cash and ensure you’ve followed every penny to a tee, which can be stressful at times.

But with contactless card payments, you don’t need to burden yourself with this. Because every payment is made directly into your business bank account, all payments are automatically viewable in plain black and white, making it very easy to tally your total payments when you need to, compared to the alternative.

Encourages customers to shop

In 2021, 23 million shoppers in the UK barely used any cash at all, opting instead to use card and contactless card payments, according to data from UK Finance featured in The Guardian. Given that this large number could be considered to be representative of UK shoppers as a whole, it’s easy to assume that only offering cash as an option of payment vastly limits the number of people who could be encouraged to shop with you.

Even if you still offer card payments without the luxury of contactless, you could still be driving customers away, with over half of customers saying convenience plays a major factor in their shopping decisions, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. By not offering the most convenient payment option – which, at the moment, is undoubtedly contactless card payments – you’re potentially disappointing a huge number of potential customers and closing yourself off from greater profits.

But by offering contactless card payments, the large segment of the shopping public who value the convenience of contactless will be more encouraged to shop with you, even if you’re a very small local business, when compared to those that don’t.

Greater customer numbers

It takes less than a second to pay for a product using a contactless card, according to data from Lloyds Bank. Speed has been a massive factor in many people opting for contactless as their preferred payment of choice, as it allows them to save time, giving them more time to spend on the rest of their day. However, from a business owner’s perspective, this speed also offers you advantages.

Specifically, the faster you’re able to serve your customers, the more customers you’re able to serve and the more money you’re able to make. This is more in relation to business owners that operate from physical premises, like a shop, but could also be true for remote business owners. Comparing the speed of contactless payments (less than a second) with the speed it takes to complete a typical chip and pin payment (several seconds), it’s clear businesses would be able to clear more customers in a timely fashion by utilising the former. Over time, with enough customers, the amount of time saved between sales and customers would reach a colossal number, representing an impressive financial figure. In other words, if you want more customers coming through your doors at a quicker pace, contactless card payments can only help.

Choose a reliable contactless card machine vendor for your business

As a small business, you want to be sure you’re working with someone who’s experienced and reliable when onboarding contactless card payments. By working with this type of vendor, you’re giving yourself the best chance to make the most of your new technology, delight your customers and reap the financial benefits as a result.