Business tips

The effect of NFC contactless technology on small businesses.

By Joshua Griffin on
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In past eras, the main job of a business owner was to sell products and services to a small, local customer base. Reputation and trust were built by positive word of mouth more than they were by slick advertising campaigns. In many cases, merchants only had one or two rivals fighting for the same buyers. Those days are as far behind us.

Today, thanks to the internet and social media, merchants like you need to work harder than ever to both attract customers and earn their loyalty. These days, bargains can be located with a few clicks and competition spans the globe. In this cutthroat milieu, entrepreneurs need to stack the deck in their favor. Setting up the most secure and easiest possible payment method is one way to accomplish this goal. That’s why more and more merchants are using NFC contactless technology to allow their customers to pay via Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, etc. NFC-enabled solutions allow you to:

Build customer loyalty.

Just how can a customer paying via their smartphone and your near-field communication (NFC) reader lead to a long-lasting, positive relationship? Here are five ways:

  1. Since you tend to have knowledge about and sell particular brands that you prefer, your repeat customers will buy these specific products again and again. The same goes for your payment experience. If it’s an easy and seamless one, people are far more likely to revisit your store. This is brand loyalty in a nutshell.
  2. Buyers’ overall experiences are enhanced when the payment process goes smoothly. Many even find the novelty of buying products with their smartphones to be cool and fun. As a result, you come across as a cutting-edge merchant, which is a particular plus, millennials and Gen Y and Z customers.
  3. The checkout for NFC contactless payments is faster. There’s no fumbling for cash or plastic, no confusion about how and where to swipe, and no long wait for verification. Contactless payments could not be any easier or more secure.
  4. Let’s not forget the value of incentive programs. The POS software that enables you to perform NFC contactless transactions also contains tools for setting up promotions, coupons, and other forms of discounts.
  5. NFC tags are the equivalent of digital beacons that can draw customers to special deals and promotions. If you have new products that you want to highlight or even items that need to be cleared out, these tags are an excellent vehicle.

 Provide real time offers and discounts.

  1. Ecommerce has created the ideal environment for endless browsing and comparison. While this is good for the savvy customer who wants to find just the right item, it can lead to distractions and clicking away to competitors’ websites if you don’t have effective retention strategies in place. When you offer instant, real time discounts to these consumers, you can often entice them to take the plunge and make that final purchase.
  2. These days, most of us are conditioned to respond instantaneously to a vibration  or sound from our smartphones. Let this trait go to work for you by encouraging your customers to enable push notifications for your business’ app. Once this feature is in play, you can keep the lines of communication open with friendly updates and deals relevant to your customers. Just be careful not to overdo it; no one wants to be bombarded with offers or constantly feel pressured to buy.

 Offer enhanced convenience and security for payments.

  1. While complexity is usually a detriment, it is a key benefit in the world of contactless payments. When customers pay using mobile technology, their transaction information is tokenized and encrypted making it much harder for hackers and fraudsters to access it. As a result, the customer’s personal and payment data stay safe while you remain less prone to reputation-damaging security breaches and costly chargebacks.
  2. When paying with smartphones, the third-party app that masks personal and payment details provide peace of mind to customers and merchants alike. There is no need for consumers to part with plastic during the payment process and the merchant is not left with the responsibility of storing sensitive data that is vulnerable to hackers.
  3. While most of us never put our smartphones down, it is all too easy to leave a credit card behind at the register. Contactless payments remove this nuisance that can quickly become a security nightmare when your card falls into the wrong hands.
  4. Verification protocols such as fingerprint or facial recognition add yet another layer of security to the contactless payment process. As this technology evolves, payment devices will become even more effective and hard to circumvent.

In the end, accepting NFC contactless payments like Apple Pay often leads to a stronger bond of trust between customer and merchant. This is thanks to the ease of use, customer control, and the added security of these transactions.

Increase the options you offer to consumers.

  1. The more options your customers have, the happier they are. Although some will feel more comfortable paying with cash many will appreciate the fact that your contactless payment reader allows them to buy anything they want even if they don’t have a cash or credit cards on their person.
  2. Nearly half of all online transactions will be performed using mobile technology by 2020. That means you don’t have much time. If you haven’t implemented mobile and contactless payments in your retail store and on your website, get the ball rolling today. You can’t afford to be left behind!