Contactless payments were becoming the norm before we even knew about COVID-19, but there’s no question the pandemic has boosted adoption rates – and now it’s showing up in the data.
Let’s look at the numbers and what it means for convenience stores.
A January 2021 study from Visa shows 38 percent of U.S. consumers use contactless at every possible opportunity when making transactions.
Add in a study from the NRF, contactless payments increased 69 percent between January 2020 and August 2020. Of those currently using contactless, 57 percent said they’ll continue using it beyond the pandemic.
What does this mean for C-stores?
All retailers know you need to accept as many forms of payment as possible. After all, cash is still used in roughly 30 percent of all transactions, according to a 2018 Federal Reserve study.
But even before the virus, contactless payment usage was expected to hit 75 percent by the year 2025.
Speed, convenience, and security are the key benefits that attract the growing number of contactless users.
“From grocery stores to coffee shops to food delivery, contactless payment is already part of our everyday lives,” says Danny Seals, Gilbarco's Product Manager for Retail Fuel Dispensers, “It needs to be in our everyday convenience stores as well. Consumers are coming to expect these features on the forecourt and inside the store.”
Beyond the trendiness of fancy, new forms of payment, contactless is 10 times faster than dipping a traditional card.
Contactless payment also means added security for fuel customers.
Since EMV-compliant forecourts must be equipped with high-speed connectivity, contactless payment is easily integrated into the payment ecosystem.
“The proactive stores that already completed the EMV upgrade process are ahead of the game,” Seals says. “Not only are they EMV-compliant, they’re leaning into a profitable payment trend and turning it into an industry standard.”
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