Contactless payments are great for businesses and consumers alike. The ability to tap to pay makes the checkout process quicker and more convenient, whilst businesses that accept contactless payments benefit from lower levels of cash handling and better operational efficiency.
With 519 million contactless card transactions made in June 2020 alone (according to figures from UK Finance), there’s no doubt that paying with a tap or even a mobile phone has gained major attraction amongst consumers. Whilst the technology is commonly used to pay for coffee, groceries and products from major retailers, there are more uses for contactless than you might think. From beer to bus travel, we count down five of the most surprising things you can pay for with contactless.
1. Pay for parking
We’ve all been there. Digging through our glove box, wallet, or purse for spare change to feed into an archaic parking meter. Even if you find the money, you’re almost guaranteed to find that one of your coins gets spat out over and over again no matter how much you rub it against the machine.
Fortunately, local councils and private parking operators have brought their operation into the 21st century, with many UK car parks now permitting drivers to pay simply by tapping their card or phone onto the reader. Whilst some car parks have accepted card payments for some time now, the use of contactless is a welcome breakthrough for many drivers who feel that the Chip and PIN system leaves them at risk of fraud.
2. Buy a beer
Meeting friends at the pub is a social life staple for many people, but many people get frustrated by queues at the bar that leave them stuck without a drink. Enter tap-and-pull pint stations, a novel way to pay for a beer or cider with a contactless card before pouring your own pint of choice.
Piloted across numerous popular London venues, the system is in fact quite simple and uses numerous kegs linked up to a pump which will only release once a customer has paid via the contactless card reader attached to it. With reduced queues and a new novelty, tapping to pay for a pint is a real winner.
3. Make a donation
Everybody likes to do their bit for charity, but in today’s world we carry cash far less frequently than in years gone by. In turn this means that when we want to give to charity, we often can’t contribute to the collection bucket.
Fortunately, many charities have now recognised the problem and invested in portable card readers and mobile card machines to make sure that patrons can do their bit even without a pocket full of coins. From charitable magazine purchases through to donations made to animal rehoming centres, your generosity is no longer confined by the cash you carry around with you.
In Amsterdam, this idea has even been extended to helping the homeless. Providing a warm jacket that contains a contactless payment sensor, helping out has never been so simple.
4. Pay in a cash-free supermarket
Cash use is on the decline in the UK, and recognising that trend, major supermarket chain Tesco has opened a totally cashless shop. Situated in London’s High Holborn, the store is focussed on office workers and tourists who value the high-speed process that contactless checkouts facilitate.
The store’s opening comes after Tesco found that some of their smaller shops were seeing just 20% of their transaction volume in cash. Fortunately, the move comes with a number of added benefits such as a more efficient payment process and a reduced need for staff to constantly man the tills.
5. Buy tickets trouble-free
In many places it used to be that you could only get on a bus with a travel pass or exact change. This made it much more difficult to get around, especially in rural settings where cashpoints and banks are few and far between.
Nowadays, however, major bus companies like Stagecoach have fitted out their busses with contactless card readers that allow passengers to pay with their card or even a smartphone. What this means is greater accessibility to transport links and a more efficient way for bus drivers to take payment without getting behind on their routes.
Easy payments don’t just stop there, though. With contactless card readers becoming more widespread, taxis, trains and other forms of transport are now open to passengers even if they don’t have any cash with them. Getting stuck simply isn’t a concern when you can tap, pay and ride all the way home.
The easy way to take contactless payments
It’s clear that contactless payments are on the rise in the UK, and businesses that don’t accept this popular form of payment risk falling by the wayside. Fortunately, it couldn’t be easier to get in on the action, and both your business and its customers could see real, tangible benefits from upgrading to a contactless-enabled payment solution.
No matter what products you sell or services you provide, your business could start accepting contactless payments seamlessly just by partnering with a reputable merchant services provider like UTP Group. With ready-to-go solutions including contactless card readers and even portable card machines, taking payment is a breeze.
From traditional village shops to the nation’s biggest innovators, contactless technology is changing the game for retail and commerce. When it’s so easy to implement, there can be no excuse for allowing your business to fall behind.