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Payments Testing One, Two, Three

Modern consumers have high expectations for technology. If something doesn’t work perfectly, they’re quick to grow frustrated and abandon it as junk.

“Our generation is a little bit spoiled,” said Bart van Hoek, head of Innovations with UL Transaction Security — and he said that is all the more true with payments tech.

Imagine going out for breakfast only to find that the point-of-sale (POS) terminal isn’t working. Without it, how will you pay for your meal? Maybe you happen to be carrying cash that day, but even if you’re able to hand over a crisp $20 bill to cover the cost, the experience has certainly created friction.

Online, there’s no cash to fall back on. If the payment doesn’t work the first time, said van Hoek, that sale is as good as lost. Nobody wants to see a box that says the website is experiencing technical difficulties; please try again later. The customer likely won’t even remember to try again later, and if he does, he may not return to the same site. Most shoppers just give up on the faulty site and head to a competitor to complete the purchase instead.

Perfection, however, is not easy to achieve in any singular product. In payments, there are hundreds of players involved in making every single transaction work smoothly, from acquirers and banks to regulators setting standards that must be met to, of course, the payments processor.

The point-of-sale terminal at Walgreens or Kroger must work with a credit card from Chase, a mobile payment, a foreign debit card and more. How can the company that produces the terminal ever be sure it can do all that?

Trial and error, said van Hoek. But not with real consumers or real transactions. That is where payments testing comes in. In a recent interview, van Hoek told PYMNTS how this quality assurance process works for payment technology companies, how that’s changed over the years and why this stage of product development is so important.

 

An Investment in Reputation

User experience is more than a buzzword, van Hoek said. Every tap on a mobile device, every imaginable payment method — all of it is about creating the most seamless and smooth user experience possible, devoid of any bugs or errors.

Testing lets the developer see how the product will perform for every customer in every situation and shows whether the software is logical and intuitive or needs to be smoothed over.

When developers invest in payments testing, they aren’t just ensuring that their product does what it’s supposed to do, said van Hoek. They’re investing in their reputation. Building a good reputation is hard. Destroying it is easy — all it takes is one bad product. Earning back consumers’ trust is more difficult the second time around.

With the speed of innovation today, it may feel like a race to get products to market, but the last thing any developer wants is to go to market only to watch the product fall apart in the real world. Between the expense of fixing it and the business lost due to damaged reputation, “Those are costs you don’t want to bear,” said van Hoek.

 

Automate

To achieve the highest level of product quality, the product must be subjected to a high level of testing, and that requires a lot of repetitive actions and test cases. The number of repetitive actions will only increase as new payment methods and infrastructure are introduced and must also be tested.

That’s why payments testing is often seen as a chore. But, said van Hoek, it doesn’t have to be. Today, there are tools on the market to help manage some of those repetitive tasks, freeing up human testers from pressing buttons all day to make better use of their time.

Van Hoek said that manual testing can be extremely labor-intensive and time-consuming in some cases. But that doesn’t necessarily mean artificial intelligence (AI) has to be a part of the answer, he said. It simply means that any pieces of the process that can be automated should be.

Which pieces? That’s a decision that only the company can make. Van Hoek said that, due to the complexity of some test cases, automation is not always cost-efficient, either. Individual organizations must decide what is the best combination of manual and automated testing to optimize their processes.

At UL Transaction Security, customers can submit their hardware to undergo a barrage of different uses and scenarios in UL’s test labs, and van Hoek said the company is always looking to automate even more of the process as new technologies become available. The key client problem that UL helps to address is reducing time to market by eliminating the complexity that companies are facing with new technologies and regulations flooding the market.

 

Divide and Conquer

In the old days, said van Hoek, testing used to be done on final products at the end of the development cycle. But today, payments testers, like UL, subject the product to smaller tests along the way. By breaking the project into manageable chunks, UL is able to be more thorough in its testing and can identify problems before the rest of the product gets built around them.

Van Hoek said that can save a lot of time and money throughout the development process, as it enables development teams to address issues as they go along rather than having to tear down and rebuild a final product that doesn’t work right.

The thinking around testing must change, he argued. It’s more about quality assurance, though testing is just one piece of a larger quality assurance process that includes identifying, anticipating, managing and resolving issues across the product, while testing focuses specifically on finding and eliminating bugs.

As development processes have become more agile, van Hoek said that testing processes throughout the lifecycle must also increase their agility.

 

Growth Ahead

Again, the number of payment methods out there — and the infrastructure that goes with each one — is only going to increase. There are many players trying to disrupt the industry, but people aren’t abandoning cash and credit cards to pay with their smartphones; it’s not “either/or” but “both/and.”

Cryptocurrencies are another growing method in the payments industry, and the price of bitcoin (currently around $11,000) reveals just how popular it is among its fans. Eventually, at least some consumers are going to want to spend that digital currency in real-world brick-and-mortar stores.

Money is money, and merchants want to be ready to accept whatever form of it customers want to hand them. Doing that will require new technology and new components, or new use cases for old components, van Hoek explained — all of which will need to be tested and validated before rolling out to merchants and the public — for their own good and for the good of the brand.

Source: (Pymnts, 2017)

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APPLE PAY P2P Payments Coming To Apple Watch In The Autumn

 

apple-watch

 

 

Peer-to-peer payments are coming to the Apple Watch this fall with the release of iOS 11 and watchOS 4.

On its website, Apple said that Apple Pay users will be able to send and receive money quickly, easily and securely via its peer-to-peer payment platform. The feature will be available right in Messenger, or users can tell Siri to pay someone using a virtual debit card or credit card already loaded into the digital wallet. When users get paid, they will receive the money instantly in the new Apple Pay Cash card that will reside in the Apple Wallet.

The move on the part of Apple to include P2P payments with the new iOS 11 and watchOS 4 comes at a time when the company is trying to get Apple Pay in the hands of more users. Earlier this month, Didi, the Uber of China (and, in fact, the local service that gobbled up Uber China last August) announced it has added Apple Pay support to its Didi Premier, Didi Express and Didi Luxe personal mobility services, in addition to its partner station-less bike rental service ofo, according to a TechCrunch news report.

Apple Pay is standard fare on any iOS device, allowing users to authenticate payments biometrically – today, with their fingerprints, and soon using Face ID on the forthcoming iPhone X. That’s on top of other iOS features Didi already supported, including Siri-powered ride hailing from within the Maps app or via the Apple Watch. With the addition of support by Didi, Apple Pay joins the likes of WeChat, Alipay, QQ Wallet, international credit cards and CMB all-in-one net payment, all of which power Didi’s core services. It also comes at a time of increased competition from Fitbit, which recently launched the Ionic smartwatch.

 

Source (Pymnts, 2017)

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Sole Trader? There’s no need to go it alone – and employing these three people could help!

Many small business owners run their entire enterprise alone, which is perfectly understandable when it comes to keeping costs down.
However, going it alone as an SME is difficult to say the least – and employing these three people can help you take your business to the next level.

1) Accountant
As a small business owner, your goal is to make money–so it only makes sense to consult a professional to help you manage this crucial aspect of your business. Becoming a business owner naturally adds complexity to your tax scenario, so at tax time, an accountant can be crucial for making sure you’re in full compliance and are filing correctly.

2) Assistant
Being a solo business is difficult. Tasks and communications that don’t have to do directly with the day-to-day of customer relations, creating or offering your products and services, and other immediate tasks might become backed up, or even fall by the wayside.
This is where an assistant can come in handy. By employing a loyal employee, you can leave the simple store transactions while having more time to deal with the important things!

3) PR and Marketing Assistant
Getting your name out there is a key factor in achieving a successful business; and a PR and marketing executive can help achieve just that.
Having someone directly available to create social media content, produce flyers and leaflets, manage marketing and deal with outside queries can hugely improve your business reputation as you progress up the success ladder!

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Our Simple & Uncomplicated Sign Up Process

GET A QUOTE
Call us and speak with one of our accredited advisers for a free quote.

REGISTER OVER THE PHONE
We are a ‘Green Company’, CheaperPay reduces cost and waste by arranging everything over the phone. No paperwork required.

TERMINAL ARRIVES
We aim to have your terminal delivered as early as 5 working days.

INSTALL IN SECONDS
It is a quick and easy process of installation. If you are unsure or not ‘Tech Savvy’ don’t worry. CheaperPay has a help desk who are more than happy to assist installation.

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Contactless Rings & Selfies: Revolutionary Ways To Pay

A selfie is just another photograph to post on your social media accounts, right? Wrong. Selfies could very well be the new way to pay for your goods and services! Not only that, but wearable technology has revolutionised the way we can communicate and track daily activity. It’s no wonder that they’re now a viable option to pay for your goods with.

Contactless Rings
Not just a fashion accessory anymore, a ring can be used to pay for all of your essentials when you’re out shopping. The convenience for the wearer means that in the event that they lose their card or cash, or forget to bring it out with them there’s no reason they still can’t walk away with the goods they want. Not only does this mean they get to purchase what they need, but your business doesn’t lose out on a sale that day.
One of the most convenient facts about the contactless ring, is that it doesn’t require a smartphone to use, nor does the ring need charging at all. As long as the customer is wearing one, they’ll be able to pay for whatever they want.

Selfie Pay
The phenomenon of the selfie has taken off significantly in the past several years – even earning itself a definition in the Oxford dictionary. It was only a matter of time before selfies would become a daily habit – and perhaps even a daily necessity. A new app called ‘Selfie Pay’ aims to help customers make secure transactions without the need for a pin number or password. By using biometrics instead of passwords, the app aims to make it the securest form of payment possible; after all, you can’t replicate someone’s face or hack it as passwords often are.

The future of payments
Whether you’re a fan of these payment methods or not, their value to businesses is undeniable – and it’s hard to imagine a future in which these types of payments weren’t helping businesses to boom and make more and more profit every year.

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How Wearable Technology Can Transform Your Business

First it was the smartphone – now it appears, to be glasses. We have come a long way from the days when the dial-up tone was a norm when connecting to the Internet. Now it appears that wearable technology is going to push us into a new era of communication on the go. Since Google released Google Glass, many engineers have proceeded to push the boundaries of wearable technology and its functions for both consumers and businesses alike. Imagine the scenario – a repairman is fixing a boiler, but needs some quick instructions or to look something up; instead of whipping out his smartphone, the glasses he is wearing will tell him everything he needs to know, saving both time and money in the process.

But realistically, how can wearable technology help your business to grow and stay ahead of your competitors?

The customer is always right
To assess whether your business will be a success, begins with market research. What is the consumer interested in and how do they like to shop? A customer likes to be informed at all times – and your employees will need information on hand at all time. Simply by having, for example, a watch on their wrist that they can bring information up on as they keep the customer engaged will help efficiency and time management.

Creating new business opportunities
Adopting wearable technology can also help to give you valuable consumer habit data. By being able to connect while on the go, you can track how consumers purchase your product and what entices them the most. Not only will it help increase consumer engagement with your brand but your employees will also benefit from the extra productivity and successful use of the data.

Overall, wearable technology is coming to the forefront of businesses, along with contactless payment and payment via smartphones.

We can help your small business or SME to grow by helping you ease into the wearable tech world with ease and efficiency. Contact us now for a FREE quote and sign up to get your first 3 months FREE!

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Fingerprint Tech: A New Age Of Payments

Credit card payments have come a long way; from chip & pin to contactless taps, card payments are being revolutionised everyday. However, another form of payment has come to the forefront of business payment solutions.

Currently, fingerprint technology is worth an estimated $2billion a year in Japan, and is growing rapidly due to it’s convenience for both the consumer and the business.

What is fingerprint technology and how does it work?

Fingerprint tech is revolutionising the way consumers pay for their goods. It begins with the consumer purchasing a credit card that has their fingerprint stored within the details. After that, they simply pay for their goods by placing their finger on a fingerprint scanner at the checkout. And as simple as that, they get to walk away with their goods in hand.

What are the benefits of fingerprint technology?

If contactless cards worried consumers, then fingerprint payment is the ideal solution. For example, if the consumer forgets their card or loses it before paying, they simply need to scan their fingerprint and walk out of the store. Not only will this save them time, but also means your business does not lose profit it otherwise might have. As well as the additional monetary benefit, workplace efficiency is almost doubled due to the quick nature of the payment.

Fingerless payments are looking to replace or become an alternative to Apple Pay; a market that is also growing rapidly due to it’s convenient nature. It also has the added benefit of total security. There may even come a time when the consumer will no longer need to carry card or cash – simply their fingerprint. Although there might be limitations (for example not being able to use multiple fingerprints for different bank accounts) the security of the process simply cannot be denied for both the consumer and the business.

Here are CheaperPay we understand the need for your business to stay ahead of the curve without the added costs – so we’re offering a limited time offer of 3 months FREE when you sign up for our service!

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Card Payments: The Cost Of Staying Static

More and more businesses are realising the potential of adopting card payments as well as cash transactions. With debit and credit cards being used as a consumer’s preferred payment method these days, it’s no wonder that the credit card industry is booming and contactless payments are taking off as much as they are.

However, as a small business, you may be concerned about the cost of having card payments, rather than the additional profit you’ll receive overall. These fears often lead to cash-only payment transactions for many small businesses, until they can accept card payments.

But when taking a look at the overall statistics of card payments, your business is more likely to succeed in the long term than fail.

The Statistics

Roughly, small businesses and SMEs who do not accept card payments are losing out on £8.8bn profit. £52.6 billion is spent by consumers using card payments in the UK with 70% of consumers prefer card to cash. Meanwhile, 32% of UK adults would not purchase from a store that did not accept card payments.

With these alarming statistics from the general UK public, it seems likely that a small business would struggle in it’s first year by not allowing card payments, unless the product was unique enough to suggest otherwise.

The Conclusion

Long term numbers and statistics are more reliable than short-term figures and your fears. Starting a new business comes with all kinds of risks, but being prepared is the most important factor when implementing new systems. Embrace the digital age and now!

Here at CheaperPay we understand the importance of reducing the costs for your new business. This is why we’re offering 3 months FREE when you sign up with us! Contact us for more information.

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Pepare for the next generation of card payments

Paying for your shopping using your smartphone just got even easier as Mastercard expands the reach of its mobile payment app.

The humble credit and debit card may be a step closer to extinction thanks to a new announcement from Mastercard.

The company has revealed a major expansion to its Masterpass digital wallet service that will allow customers for the first time.

Going forward, Masterpass should now work seamlessly on your smartphone, wearable device or tablet, letting you pay online, in-store, or using the NFC-enabled app with just one touch.

Masterpass makes paying for goods even easier

Masterpass makes paying for goods using your smartphone even easier

Mastercard says that the new service, which links to your current account, is perfect for a wide ranges of use cases, from paying for the tube in the morning to splitting the bill at lunch and ordering your weekly shop online.

Banks will also be able to build Masterpass into their own apps, bringing together all your various digital payment methods and apps in one place.

The company says that around 80 million people around the world will be able to benefit automatically from the new service, which launches in the US today before expanding to Europe later next year.

The news comes as competition in the mobile payment market continues to increase, as big players such as Apple and Samsung throw their weight behind the technology.

Since its launch in 2014, Apple Pay has helped popularize the idea of paying for good using a mobile phone in the UK, with thousands of businesses across the country supporting the technology.

 


Moore, M. (2016) Home. Available at: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/science-technology/689626/mastercard-masterpass-contactless-shopping-payment-app-nfc (Accessed: 15 July 2016).

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London’s contactless Tube payment system is going global

Other cities will soon be able to use TfL technology to develop their own contactless payment systems.

The contactless payment system used on London’s transport network will soon be modified for use in other cities.
A deal between Transport for London (TfL) and transportation firm Cubic will see the latter adapt the contactless ticking system and license it around the world. The deal, worth up to £15 million, will help TfL ensure fares don’t rise for the next four years, the mayor’s office said.

Cubic will be given access to London’s contactless system to allow it to tailor it to other transportation networks. The company first worked with TfL in 2003 to develop the technology behind Oyster and has since helped upgrade the system to support contactless payments from debit cards, Apple Pay and Android Pay.

Outside London, CTS provides similar ticketing technology to Brisbane, Chicago, Sydney and Vancouver. The non-exclusive deal with TfL will allow the company to integrate technology developed for London’s network into other transport systems.
According to TfL, more than 500 million journeys have been made by more than 12 million unique credit and debit cards since the contactless system launched on London’s busses in December 2012. The technology was expanded to cover Tube and rail in September 2014 and has been used by customers from 90 different countries with one in ten contactless transactions in the UK made on TfL’s network.

Cubic continues to run TfL’s ticketing and fare collection services on 8,500 busses, 1,900 Underground and Overground ticket gates and 1,600 ticket machines across the network.

 


Temperton, J. (2016) London’s contactless tube payment system is going global. Available at: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/london-underground-contactless-payments-licensing-deal (Accessed: 15 July 2016).

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Visa: Most People Back Biometric Payments

Majority of people want to use biometrics when making payments, with fingerprints the favoured option.

New research from Visa has revealed that a clear majority of people are in favour of combining biometrics with their payment process.

The Visa Biometric Payments study surveyed over 14,000 consumers across seven European markets. And it comes at a time when the use of biometric technology is being actively debated as a way to improve transaction security.

Safer Transactions

Biometric technology of course has been around for many years now, but thanks to some high-profile launches of late such as Apple’s TouchID system and Windows Hello, the technology is being used by more and more people.

And the Visa survey revealed that two thirds (73 percent) of people believe that two-factor authentication, where a form of biometrics is used in conjunction with a payment device (i.e. a mobile device or card reader), would make for a more secure payment authentication.

Half of people (51 percent) believe that biometrics would make payments faster and easier, and 68 percent want to use biometrics as a method of payment authentication. The survey revealed that biometrics would mostly help online retailers, as nearly a third (31 percent) of people have at some stage abandoned a browser-based purchase because of the payment security process.

And it seems that 33 percent of people appreciate the fact that biometric authentication means their details would be safe even if their device was lost or stolen.

“Biometric identification and verification has created a great deal of excitement in the payments space because it offers an opportunity to streamline and improve the customer experience,” said Jonathan Vaux, Executive Director of Innovation Partnerships. “Our research shows that biometrics is increasingly recognised as a trusted form of authentication as people become more familiar with using these capabilities on their devices.”

“Biometrics work best when linked to other factors, such as the device, geolocation technologies or with an additional authentication method,” said Vaux. “That’s why we believe that it’s important to take a holistic approach that considers a wide range of enabling technologies that contribute to a better end-to-end experience, from provisioning a card to making a purchase to checking your balance.”

What type?

Fingerprint recognition is viewed as the most favourable secure option by 81 percent of respondents. Iris scanning is backed by 76 percent of people.

But most people are comfortable with fingerprints, as 53 percent of people expressed a preference for fingerprint over other forms of biometric authentication when using it for payment. The other biometric choices such as voice or facial recognition as a payment method are much less popular.

The survey also found that 48 percent of respondents want to use biometric authentication for payments when on public transport. 47 percent want to use biometric authentication when paying at a bar or restaurant, and 46 percent want to use it to purchase goods and services on the high street at a coffee shop or fast food outlet for example. 40 percent want to use it when shopping online and 39 percent when downloading content.

Biometric Uptake

Biometric technology is seeing increasing use of late, not just because of its incorporation into mobile and computing devices.

Earlier this year HSBC launched new biometric logins for its customers. Barclays also allows some of its corporate clients and Wealth customers to log in to their accounts using a biometric reader, and also has voice recognition software, enabled for certain users, with RBS and NatWest also offering fingerprint technology to some customers.

Previous research has found that younger British consumers are the most comfortable with using biometric data to verify their accounts.

 

 


Jowitt, T. (2016) Visa: Most people back Biometric payments. Available at: http://www.techweekeurope.co.uk/security/authentification/people-biometric-payments-195063 (Accessed: 15 July 2016).

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Apple Pay is coming to the web – but there’s a catch

Apple Pay will soon be available on in browsers on macOS and iOS, but payments will still have to be authenticated on an iPhone.

Following months of rumours, Apple has confirmed it is launching Apple Pay on the web.

The feature was unveiled at the annual Worldwide Developer Conference and will let you pay for goods through Safari on macOS and iOS. Payments will still need to be authenticated using a fingerprint-enabled iPhone or the Apple Watch.

When customers are browsing on supported websites – such as Crate and Barrel and lululemon – an Apple Pay button will appear. It will work in a similar way to Apple Pay on apps.

Previously, to use Apple Pay iPhone users could store their card details into the contactless system and use NFC to tap and pay for goods in participating stores. Alternatively, they could use Apple Pay to buy items on selected iPhone apps.

Today’s announcement expands this to the web. People shopping on a website on a Mac, or via Safari on their phones, will get a notification on their iPhone to confirm the transaction, which this is done using TouchID.

 

Apple Pay will be limited to £20 until September, when payments up to £30 will be allowed

Apple Pay will be limited to £20 until September, when payments up to £30 will be allowed

This means users won’t have to manually enter credit card information on individual websites or store them online when buying goods because the payment – and security – is routed through the Apple Pay system.

The new features are due to start rolling out to the UK and US countries “soon” and WIRED has contacted Apple to get more information and details of supporting websites.

Apple Pay launched in the UK last year and brought the contactless payment system to stores including Boots, Costa, Lidl, Marks & Spencer and Nando’s.

More than 250,000 shops across the UK now accept Apple Pay, with Transport for London also supporting the payment method on its network. The UK was the second country to get Apple Pay after the service launched in the USA in October 2014.

 


Woollaston, V. (2016) Apple pay is coming to the web – but there’s a catch. Available at: http://www.wired.co.uk/article/apple-pay-web (Accessed: 12 July 2016).

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Never mind the contactless card, I will be paying by ear

Spending with contactless cards more than trebled last year to almost £8 billion. Experts predict that wearable payments will be the next big thing, with the technology incorporated into watches, earrings and clothes.

Henry Holland used the wearable technology in his London Fashion Week show last September. VIPs in the crowd were able to buy garments from the catwalk by touching a specially designed ring to a blue brooch that the models were wearing.

Contactless technology, which allows shoppers to buy without entering a PIN, has been in circulation since 2007 but adoption rates soared when the spending limit increased to £30.

Half of all credit and debit cards in circulation allow contactless payments, according to the UK Cards Association.

Analysts say that within five years millions of Britons will be paying via smartwatches, wristbands or key fobs with embedded microchips.

 


2016, T.N.L. (2016) Never mind the contactless card, I will be paying by ear. Available at: http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/never-mind-the-contactless-card-i-will-paying-by-ear-kgs7dcfvv (Accessed: 28 June 2016).

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Is your business prepared for the cashless economy?

The UK is on the fast track to being cash-free, but are our small and medium businesses ready?

The pounds in your pocket are destined for the museum display cabinets. This is according to new research by trade association, Payments UK, who predict that debit card and contactless payment use will overtake cash transactions by 2021 after finding that cash transactions accounted for less than half of consumer payments for the first time in 2015.

There’s no doubt that contactless technology has transformed consumer buying, and with Apple and Android Pay now available, it’s clear that the days of counting out coppers for a pint of milk and a Mars bar will soon be over.

Who has the least cash?

Citigroup and London’s Imperial College latest Digital Money Index indicates that the UK has begun to sprint ahead in the global race to becoming a cashless society after rising from 7th to 4th place in the list of countries that are most ‘digital ready’. Finland topped the list as the most digital-ready country for the third consecutive year, with Singapore and the US following behind in second and third place respectively.

Finland’s continued position as a digital leader is unsurprising considering their strong investment in digital infrastructure. Fixed broadband is available to 97 per cent of Finnish homes; this combined with affordability has helped Finland become one of the most tech savvy nations, with 91 per cent of the population being regular internet users. Furthermore, according to the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), Finland has one of the highest shares of eGovernment users and users of eHealth services in Europe. The Finnish government’s integration of digital and public services has further embedded digital processes into everyday life, meaning that digital payment is just another aspect of efficient modern living.

Contactless: the consumer’s choice

The rapid change in the UK’s payment habits can largely be attributed to big brands’ early adoption of contactless. In 2014 Tesco updated all 6,000 of their payment terminals in London to accept contactless payment, they announced that this would save 6 seconds for every customer that used it. For a consumer that is often time poor, 6 seconds less spent in a queue is 6 seconds less stress but more importantly for Tesco it speeds up customer service which enhances the customer experience.

However, contactless payment hasn’t always been hailed as a hero. Transport for London’s (TFL) announcement that its buses would go cashless in 2014 was initially met with scepticism. Nonetheless, since TFL has rolled out contactless across its network, more than 400 million journeys have been made using credit or debit cards or a mobile device, revealing that contactless is an option that offers consumers more, not less choice.
While Tesco and TFL helped lead the way in implementing wave and pay into our everyday lives, the increase in the contactless spend limit from £20 to £30 further pushed contactless mainstream by boosting retailer opportunities and encouraging a wider range of merchants to adapt their payment systems. In 2016, from petrol stations to pubs, consumers can go about their daily lives without having to enter their pin.
Contactless may have won London over first, but a recent study by Barclaycard found that contactless is growing fastest in Manchester, Glasgow and Cardiff. Furthermore, the study also revealed that the over 60’s, the group often deemed as ‘technophobes’, are the fastest growing adopters of contactless card payments. The popularity of contactless across generations offers further evidence that wave and pay is here to stay as more consumers look to utilise new technology that will allow them to make safer, more convenient payments.

Better for business

The swift infiltration of contactless into our everyday lives has certainly raised customer expectations of the pace and ease of service, meaning that businesses not offering customers the payment options they expect, risk undermining their reputation by appearing out of touch.
However, the new way to pay offers considerable benefits to businesses too. Sage Pay’s Payments Landscape Report 2015, found that annual cash handling costs, including allowance for fraud and theft, set UK retailers back more than £3,600 on average. By offering cashless payment options, businesses will benefit hugely from reduced cash handling costs. While digital payments are not completely free from fraud, the risk is significantly lower. Figures from the UK Cards Association show that in the first six months of 2015, fraudulent transactions were equivalent to only 2p for every £100 spent using contactless functionality.

In addition to speedier, safer transactions, digital payments also open up the possibility of integrated reward programmes and location-based marketing. Tapping into these smartphone capabilities will allow businesses to use customer data to deliver tailored marketing campaigns, enhancing customer experience and encouraging loyalty.

While the question of whether the UK will turn completely cashless remains debatable, there’s no doubt that paying for a latte with a quick swish of your wrist has become so commonplace that digging deep in your purse for cash feels like an archaic practice. Whether you’re a high street store, independent coffee shop or a local newsagent, consumers now expect to be able to pay with lightning speed. Cashless is coming, make sure you’re prepared.

 


Growth Business UK. 2016. Is your business prepared for the cashless economy?. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.growthbusiness.co.uk/comment-and-analysis/2532811/is-your-business-prepared-for-the-cashless-economy.thtml. [Accessed 24 June 2016].

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Contactless nation: Transactions soar 230% in a year as British shoppers adapt to new technology

The number of Britons choosing to use contactless debit and credit cards to make payments has soared so that £1billion was spent in a single month for the first time, data shows today.

In November 2015, total spend using contactless hit £1.02billion – a 230 per cent boom on the same month last year, when spending using the technology amounted to £303million, statistics from the UK Cards Association show.

The figure is likely to be overshadowed by December’s spend as shoppers hit the high street for Christmas.

The industry body also found the average transaction value of a contactless payment increased to £8.03 in November, up from £7.72 in October, likely due to the payment limit increasing from £20 to £30 in September.

Contactless spending was up 10 per cent on October 2015, with the number of purchases up by six per cent on October to 128million.

The £1billion November represents huge growth for contactless. In November 2013, £81million was spent on contactless and November 2012, just £26million was collectively spent.

The huge rise has come as more people choose to make smaller purchases using contactless, but also after a relentless push from current account providers.

Most now send out replacement cards with contactless as standard, meaning more of us have them.

Rapid spike: How payments have increased in recent years on contactless credit and debit cards

Rapid spike: How payments have increased in recent years on contactless credit and debit cards

According to UK Cards Association, more than 78million contactless cards were in issue in November 2015.

This compared to 56million in November 2014, 37million in November 2013 and 31million in November 2012.

This is Money reported back in the summer of 2015 that those who do not want a contactless card can request not to have one, according to the banks we asked.

Some are worried about the security aspect after an investigation by Which? showed scanners can be used to swipe details.

However, last year, NatWest/RBS told This is Money that just 1,200 specifically asked not to have a contactless card out of nine million it had issued.

CONTACTLESS SPEND GROWTH

  • Nov-08: £44,968
  • Nov-09: £273,360
  • Nov-10: £963,208
  • Nov-11: £3,960,238
  • Nov-12: £25,762,239
  • Nov-13: £80,605,973
  • Nov-14: £302,684,649
  • Nov-15: £1,020,000,000

Richard Koch, head of policy at the UK Cards Association, said: ‘Spending on contactless cards has increased almost fourfold since the beginning of 2015 and for £1billion to be spent via contactless in a month is a major milestone.

‘Whether it’s buying lunch or paying for travel, there is a real appetite for contactless payments and this is only going to grow and grow.’

As a whole, total spending on payment cards in November 2015 reached £53.2billion, with the number of purchases at a monthly record of 1.174billion, with rises partly attributable to the impact of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Total online spending was £11.8billion, compared to £10.4billion in November 2014. The number of online purchases increased by 23 per cent year on year.


Boyce, L. and Lee+Boyce+for+T (2016) Number of transactions using contactless cards hits £1bn in a month. Available at: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/saving/article-3410093/Contactless-nation-Transactions-soar-230-year-British-shoppers-adapt-new-technology.html (Accessed: 20 June 2016).