Contactless payments are a fast, more secure, and hygienic way to make purchases with a debit or credit card, or a mobile wallet such as Apple Pay® and Google Pay™. Read on to learn why it’s becoming an increasingly popular and advantageous payment method for you as well as your customers.
In this guide:
Contactless payment systems allow consumers to purchase products or services using a debit card, credit card, or mobile wallet without physically inserting or swiping a card into a point-of-sale device, handing a card to staff, signing their names, or entering PINs. Also called “tap-to-pay,” or “tap-and-go,” most contactless POS devices use either near-field communication (NFC) technologies to enable establish a connection with each customer’s card or mobile device.
Although COVID-19 has helped bring contactless payments into the mainstream, the technology has been around for decades. For example, South Korean commuters could wirelessly pay for bus fare as early as 1995. In 1997, Mobil introduced a similar concept – enabling motorists to refill and pay at its gas stations.*
Yet even before touchless commerce technology existed, many retailers offered some form of “contactless pickup” in which customers park outside a store while employees load previously purchased items. Grocery stores often use this contactless pickup option – especially when servicing older or disabled customers.
Merchants who accept contactless payments can realize the following benefits:
Consumers also benefit from contactless payment systems:
In addition to being faster and more convenient, contactless technology is the most hygienic of all in-person payment options because it doesn’t require any direct contact at the point of sale. There is no need to pass cards between consumers and merchants, type PINs into keypads, or use styluses handled by multiple consumers.
The contactless payment symbol on POS terminals indicates that the merchant accepts contactless payments. The wave-like symbol resembles the Wi-Fi icon, except it’s positioned horizontally instead of vertically. Here’s how to make contactless payments using either a card or a mobile device.
Credit or debit cards enabled for contactless payment display the contactless payment symbol on the face of the card.
To enable contactless payments on their smartphones, smartwatches, fitness trackers, or other mobile devices, consumers first have to link their credit cards to a payment app, also called a mobile wallet.
Although some contactless payment companies lock you into their technology, Clover POS systems accept all of the most popular types of traditional and contactless payments.
Clover devices accept numerous methods of payment, including:
Credit and debit cards are the most popular payment methods. Many cards are already contactless-enabled and many more are being issued with contactless capabilities so that they can be simply waved over a Clover device for payment. In addition, almost all cards can be added to a mobile wallet, including:
The Clover name and logo are registered trademarks of Clover Network, Inc.
Alipay® is a registered trademark of Alibaba Group Holding Limited in the U.S. and other countries. Apple Pay® is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. Google Pay™ is a registered trademark of Google LLC. in the U.S. or other countries. Samsung Pay® is a registered trademark of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. In the U.S. and other countries.
* “Contactless Payment,” Investopedia, 10 October 2020
United States (English)