According to Mastercard, contactless payments jumped 40% in Q1 2020, as COVID-19 took hold and consumers feared the transmission of germs on cash and credit cards. But customers aren’t alone in their fears; employees also want to be better protected.
Contactless or touchless point-of-sale (POS) systems and tools aren’t new, nor are they specifically a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. They existed before the pandemic, although since then, they’ve become a necessary and permanent fixture to reduce transmission of germs and better protect employee and customer health. With fewer people interested in conducting cash-based transactions, contactless/touchless systems are on the rise. It’s estimated that 63% of consumers would rather switch to a business offering contactless payment options. From Generation Zers and millennials to baby boomers, there’s been a massive preference toward touchless/contactless payment processing; that makes it the future of payments.
Five contactless payment tools
Today, almost 67% of U.S. retailers are providing contactless payments, with the contactless payment market projected to nearly triple in value globally by 2026. So which POS systems are out there to safeguard both employees and customers? There are many, including these five.
Clover Mini by Fiserv is an end-to-end contactless point of sale system. It is feature-rich and can handle all of your business payment processing, inventory levels and employee schedules flexibly and within a compact design.
Key features of Clover Mini:
- Customizable to cater to any business
- Compatible with barcode scanners and other accessories
- Print, email or text receipts
- Real-time business reporting
- Wi-Fi or 4G LTE compatible
Pricing: Contact Clover for pricing.
Lightspeed is a cloud-based POS system that is focused on simplifying payment processing for retail, restaurant and golf vendors globally. It easily integrates with other systems to improve inventory and employee management.
Key features of Lightspeed:
- One-on-one support
- Inventory management software
- Multiple revenue stream access, all in one place
- Accessible from an iPad or mobile device
Pricing: Serving clients in the United States and Canada, Lightspeed offers four payment options: Lean at $69/month, Standard at $119/month, Advanced at $199/month and Enterprise (contact Lightspeed for a quote).
Square is an established POS system, launched in 2009, with the goal of helping merchants process payments in-person, online via desktop or by mobile device.
Key features of Square:
- No-code online store synchronization
- Processes Instagram and Facebook payments
- Integrates with customer relationship management (CRM) systems
- Customizable team management and loyalty programs
- Built-in analytics
Pricing: Square hardware is free to use, with no monthly fee. There’s a processing rate of 2.6% + 10 cents per tap, dip or swipe.
Stripe offers businesses access to omnichannel POS payment options that enable contactless checkout. Online and offline channels are unified, with developer tools, pre-certified card readers and cloud-based hardware management.
Key features of Stripe:
- Single Stripe integration ensures all sales can be found in one place
- Simplified reporting and reconciliation
- Customizable in-store checkout and flow using Stripe mobile and web apps
- In-person payments can be added to your platform or marketplace
- Centralized fleet management tools
Pricing: Starter and customized pricing options are available beginning at 2.7% + 5 cents per successful charge for most cards and C$0.15 per transaction for Interac debit cards.
WePay, a JPMorgan Chase company, offers consolidated POS focused on user experience, reducing overhead and increasing margins. It allows businesses to process in-person payments using their card reader and is accessible on iOS or Android devices.
Key features of WePay:
- Modern integrated omnichannel payment processing
- Pre-certified card readers and comprehensive developer resources
- Granular control of terminal settings
- Flexible device monetization options
- Central management of a fleet of terminals and mobile card readers
Pricing: Contact WePay for pricing.
What to consider when choosing a contactless POS
Many core features may seem the same when shopping around for a contactless POS. But it’s always a good idea to consider the differences between your business and your competitors. Consider some of these questions:
- What do I need to ensure my business transactions are accurately captured in real-time?
- Does the new POS integrate fully with my other existing platforms and apps?
- Does the POS help grow my business the way I envision?
- Is it scalable and reliable?
- Will I get onboarded easily, and will my staff get the support they need on an ongoing basis?
- Will the POS safeguard my employees and customers adequately?