The COVID-19 pandemic has changed payments forever. To be sure, contactless payments have been available in the U.S. for years. They were making headway even before the pandemic struck. One big factor was the mass rollout of EMV technology, which lets card terminals read the EMV chip embedded in payment cards. Trouble was, not all merchants turned on the near-field communication capability in their new devices. So, they couldn't read the ultra-short-range radio signals from customers’ cards.
Customer Demand Fuels the Fire
That’s changing fast. In fact, customer demand is now fueling the adoption of changed payments in a post-pandemic world. “We’ve been working with many customers lighting that up. I don’t think anybody is thinking they can operate without it,” says Chris Lybeer, chief strategy officer at POS device vendor Revel Systems.
Other vendors are seeing the same urgency, particularly as businesses reopen and merchants seek to soothe the anxiety of a fretful, mask-donning, social-distancing customer base. “Absolutely, folks are sticking this in right and left,” says Lybeer. Contactless payments options are becoming a critical inclusion in the growing mix of omni-channel solutions for businesses.