How to Create a Seamless Tap-to-Pay Checkout Experience
Contactless payments burst onto the U.S. shopping scene this past year, with the number of contactless cards in the market tripling in 2019. It’s no wonder why the rate of adoption is accelerating: Faster, easier and more secure compared to traditional methods, the impact of contactless payments have impressed both consumers and retailers.
As more cardholders go contactless, they're proactively looking to shop at stores where they can tap to pay. In fact, two-thirds of transactions in the U.S. last year were at retailers that accept contactless payments, including more than 80 out of Visa’s top 100 merchants like Costco, Trader Joe's, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Walgreens, and McDonald’s. Operational efficiency is a major priority for these retailers, and with contactless payments, they see that more throughput is processed when transactions are faster, lines are shorter, and less sales are abandoned.
Retail staff play a critical role in the successful implementation of contactless technology at the point of sale (POS). As the rate of adoption increases, making smart decisions about contactless is crucial. By investing in two key areas — staff education and signage — retailers can create an ideal environment for tap-to-pay checkout experiences.
Educate Staff on Contactless Payments
Once a retailer begins accepting contactless payments, the best way to optimize that investment is by educating their staff on how to use tap-to-pay technology. Cashier training can be highly effective at increasing the regularity of successful customer payment interactions by helping staff identify card symbols, operate the pin pad, and support shoppers through the contactless payment process.
By taking the time to educate permanent staff as well as seasonal staff who may be less familiar with payment systems, retailers ensure that they're equipped with the training needed to guide customers through a contactless payment, and assure them that their payments are secure.
Increase Signage to Increase Awareness
A key part of ensuring positive customer experiences is through visible, standardized branding at the POS so customers can easily identify and understand where and when they can tap to pay. Signage installed at a store’s entry, around the checkout area as well as near the contactless-enabled terminal helps guide customers through the process. In fact, displaying signage has shown to drive up to 2.5x more taps at checkout, and consumers are up to 3x more likely to think a merchant is trustworthy.
Sales staff are also becoming contactless cardholders themselves, which enables them to have a deeper understanding of the tap-to-pay process, what signage symbols to look for, and appreciate the improved efficiency in action during checkout.
Realize the Benefits of Tap to Pay
Visa forecasts that in the U.S., there will be 300 million Visa contactless cards in circulation by the end of 2020, proving that tap-to-pay technology is here to stay and shows no signs of slowing down. Retailers are recognizing the growing expectation for contactless acceptance at checkout. For those brands that have taken steps to offer it, investing in employee training and signage will help to fully realize the benefits that tap to pay offers them and their customers.
Julie Scharff is vice president of consumer products at Visa Inc., responsible for leading EMV contactless initiatives for the U.S.
Julie Scharff is Vice President of Consumer Products at Visa Inc., responsible for leading EMV contactless initiatives for the US. Julie has 19 years of experience in the payments industry, many of which have been focused on petroleum and restaurant merchant card acceptance.
Prior to joining Visa in 2007, Julie worked domestically and abroad at MBNA, a credit card issuer which was acquired by Bank of America. A native of Kentucky, she now lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia with her husband and two children.
Julie holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Georgetown University.