As businesses adapt to a new normal in the wake of COVID-19, there has been an increasing focus on ensuring safety across operations. Payments, in particular, have come into sharper focus in this respect. With so much scrutiny on safety, there has been a greater effort to reduce contact between customers and employees and create a safer shopping experience – which is why new solutions are coming to the fore.
Businesses have started to incorporate NFC (near-field communication) contactless payments into their operations, a solution that offers a great deal of convenience and security for customers and businesses alike. NFC contactless payments have been around for a while but have not seen widespread adoption as such until recently.
There are many companies that offer contactless payment solutions so that customers can use devices such as smartphones to make purchases. It’s a fast and effective method of payment that can transform the customer experience. For this article, we’ll look at some of the key features to look for in NFC payment solutions and the best NFC contactless payment companies for your business.
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What are the main features digital payment companies offer?
To better evaluate NFC contactless payment companies, it’s important to understand the core features needed. Ideally, you’re looking for something that’s easy to adopt for staff while also offering convenience for customers – especially during peak hours and rush.
Key features for digital payments include:
- Ease of use: First and foremost, staff and customers should find it simple and easy to use. Features could include the actual payment process journey itself, processing speed, including one-click payments, and options to save credentials for faster transactions.
- UI/UX: User experience is a key part of digital payments. Solutions need to be easy to navigate, accessible and have features that are genuinely designed to help make payments easier.
- Cloud-ready: Cloud-ready digital payment systems tend to be a better option since data is more secure. Plus, since all data is saved on the cloud, it can be accessed across different devices, making it easier to streamline operations.
- Integration with wearables: As wearables such as Apple Watches and Android watches become more popular, digital payment solutions must be able to integrate with wearables. This ensures that customers have more flexibility when it comes to payments, and it’s easier to integrate with a variety of different devices.
- Spending Analysis: Digital payment systems can give you better oversight into spending patterns, including minimum and maximum amounts, peak times of day, and more so that you can gain a deeper understanding of customer behavior.
- Security: Because there is a lot of sensitive information being processed on both ends of the payment, security is key. Digital payment solutions should have robust security and data protection features, including encryption, biometric sign-ins, 2-factor authentication, etc.
- Ease of use: Yes, customers just tap to pay
- Security and Privacy: Secure, cloud-based transactions and end-to-end encryption
- UI/UX: One-tap payments, easy to navigate
- Flexibility to accept many different cards: Accepts any payment method connected to a Google account.
- Ease of integration: Integrates with all smartphones
- Integration with wearables: Available on any wearable using the Google pay app
Google Pay is best for fast and safe payments that customers can make via their phone. Google Pay is one of the best NFC contactless payment companies since it’s widely accepted and easy to use. To use Google Pay, customers can make payments using any card that is stored in their Google accounts, which helps speed up transactions and checkout times.
It offers simple integration that businesses can easily adopt to make accepting contactless payments as seamless as possible and free to use for businesses and customers. In addition, customers can use Google Pay with any device where they can download the app, making it easier for businesses to accept this form of payment.
- Ease of use: Very easy to use for customers and businesses
- Security and Privacy: Two-factor verification for customers, secure cloud transactions for businesses
- UI/UX: One tap payment completed via smartphone
- Flexibility to accept many different cards: Wallet feature enables multiple card use
- Ease of integration: Integrates with devices operating on iOS and Apple devices
- Integration with wearables: Integrates with wearables such as Apple Watch
Apple Pay has long been one of the best NFC contactless payment options, especially as Apple devices gain popularity. Apple Pay offers a variety of easy features so that customers don’t always need to carry cash and can make flexible payments straight from their Apple device. All transactions are encrypted and secure, and like Google Pay, Apple Pay is also a cloud-based system.
Apple Pay is free to use for both customers and merchants, and it can be integrated with existing POS systems. That is why it’s an easy option to add for customers without incurring additional costs. However, please note that Apple Pay will not work with Android devices, which is why most retail operations offer both Apple Pay and Google Pay for maximum convenience.
- Ease of use: Very easy to use for both customers and merchants
- Security and Privacy: Secure encryption end-to-end, cloud-based system
- UI/UX: One-tap payment using smartphones and wearables
- Flexibility to accept many different cards: Will only work with Mastercard
- Ease of integration: Integrates easily with other payment systems
- Integration with wearables: Can integrate with wearables, but only for Mastercard
Mastercard is one of the most common forms of payment, which is why having an easy and convenient option to accept it can be incredibly beneficial. The Mastercard Paypass is a great solution if you’d like to expand the types of payments you accept and ensure that customers have the flexibility they need.
Customers can tap and pay on any device that accepts NFC contactless payments, leading to a quick and more secure checkout. Additionally, no receipts are required or verification for purchases under $50, making it an effective solution to speed up transactions. However, the main drawback is that Mastercard Paypass can only work with Mastercard. This means you’d probably need other solutions alongside the Mastercard Paypass to accept other cards such as Visa.
- Ease of use: One tap payment available. No additional verification is needed.
- Security and Privacy: Secure transactions end-to-end
- UI/UX: Simple to use, one-tap payment with smartphone or wearable
- Flexibility to accept many different cards: Only accepts Visa
- Ease of integration: Easy to integrate with existing payment terminals
- Integration with wearables: Can integrate with wearables
Like Mastercard Paypass, Visa PayWave is an easy and convenient contactless payment option that businesses can use to accept Visa card payments. By having both Mastercard Paypass and Visa payWave available via POS terminals, businesses are in the best position to accept the most common forms of payment methods out there – while still offering a touch-free, contactless experience.
Visa payWave can only be used to accept Visa payments, though, so businesses will need additional options to ensure they can accept other forms of payment. Visa payWave is also a contactless, secure solution so that customers do not need to swipe, sign or enter a PIN. Instead, customers who prefer this method can simply tap and pay using wearables or smartphones, making it a quick and easy transaction. It ultimately leads to a faster checkout experience, thereby creating a better customer experience.
- Ease of use: One tap payment via Android devices
- Security and Privacy: No payment information is stored. A digital token system used.,
- UI/UX: Easy customer navigation and use for business
- Flexibility to accept many different cards: Accepts any card connected to Samsung eWallets
- Ease of integration: Integrates with existing POS systems
- Integration with wearables: Can be used with Samsung wearables
Samsung Pay is a necessary contactless payment option to add to payment options for customers, as anyone with Samsung devices can use it. Moreover, Samsung Pay is a fast payment option, offering a similar one-tap payment option to accelerate transactions and decrease checkout times. Samsung Pay is also one of the most secure options available for protecting customer data, as no card details are stored by the retailer.
For secure payment processing, Samsung Pay uses a token system. This means that each transaction is assigned a unique digital token to ensure that key details are masked to protect both retailers and customers.
Samsung Pay merchant kits are available for retailers to add to their payment method options and existing POS system. This type of contactless payment can be used for customers with Samsung Galaxy devices so that they can use the system to make purchases quickly and easily.
Please note that Samsung Pay cannot be used with Apple devices, so additional payment methods will be needed for customers who prefer Apple.
- Ease of use: Very easy to use with one-click payments and compatible with different devices
- Security and Privacy: Paypal protects customer payment information
- UI/UX: Simple and easy for customers and retailers to adopt
- Flexibility to accept many different cards: Accepts any payment method that is connected to the Paypal app
- Ease of integration: Easy to integrate and offer customers
- Integration with wearables: Can be used if wearable devices have a camera and Paypal app
Paypal is synonymous with secure and fast transactions, and their QR code offering is an extension of their services for contactless payments.
Merchants and customers can use QR codes for payment to make it contactless and touch-free while still providing customers with convenient payment options. Retailers can set up their own QR codes that customers can scan using the Paypal app.
Customers can use their smartphone devices and pay with 1-2 taps or other devices that have the ability to scan QR codes. Even if the QR code malfunctions, customers can still pay using the Paypal app, so it still provides a level of convenience while remaining contactless.
However, unlike some of the contactless payment companies here, Paypal will not integrate with existing POS systems, and it does not offer tap-and-go payment. Instead, customers will need to have the Paypal app on their phone or wearable to make payments and will require the ability to scan the QR code to make any kind of payment. It’s a great type of payment to offer, but additional options will be needed. The QR code only works for PayPal apps, so businesses will have to include other payment options to accommodate customers using Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay – especially for those using wearable devices.
- Ease of use: Easy to set up for businesses and one-click payment for customers
- Security and Privacy: Secure transactions and no card information is shared
- UI/UX: Fast and easy for retailers to set up QR codes
- Flexibility to accept many different cards: Accepts any payment method connected to Venmo
- Ease of integration: Can only be used with camera-enabled devices and Venmo app
- Integration with wearables: Only camera-enabled devices and/or wearables with the Venmo app installed can be integrated
Venmo is one of the most popular payment apps out there and is widely used across different customer demographics – particularly younger customers. Similar to Paypal, Venmo uses a QR code for payment. Customers can scan the QR code and use the Venmo app to make payments, using any method that is connected to the app. Transactions are safe and secure, with no payment information stored by retailers, which is a major plus point for adopting this payment processing method.
Venmo users can also use existing balances alongside any payment method connected to the app, offering more flexible options for payments. Plus, the QR code system also enables a faster checkout process, enhancing the customer experience overall.
While Venmo is widely used, it is important to note that customers cannot use this payment method without the Venmo app – similar to Paypal. The QR code system is definitely easy and convenient, but additional payment methods would be needed to accommodate customers that don’t have the app.
- Ease of use: Easy to use for customers and retailers, with multiple POS options available
- Security and Privacy
- UI/UX: Easy navigation and additional financial analysis tools provided
- Flexibility to accept many different cards: Accepts all cards and payment options
- Ease of integration: Small device that can easily integrate with existing POS
- Integration with wearables: Can be used with all wearables
Square is one of the most popular options for payment processing among retailers, and their contactless options are no different. Square is one of the best NFC contactless payment companies as it offers a variety of devices to enable contactless payment processing. Retailers can choose from small POS terminals to larger registers and stands, depending on needs.
The Square contactless device can accept any payment method, including Visa, Mastercard, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay. It’s incredibly easy to integrate with other payment systems/ Square also comes with additional financial analysis tools for retailers for better control and oversight into transactions, trends, and other key data to help improve the business. Square uses Bluetooth technology to accept payments and can connect to both Apple and Android devices.
Transactions are safe and secure and can be completed in under two seconds, offering customers a powerful and fast checkout experience. Square also accepts chip cards, offering more options for customers that may not have contactless payments enabled and prefer to pay with physical cards. All credit cards and debit cards are accepted, alongside Google Pay and Apple Pay. Square charges 2.6% + 10¢ per transaction, with no additional fees incurred.
- Ease of use: Simple and easy, and can be integrated with Android phones
- Security and Privacy: End-to-end secure transactions
- UI/UX: Clean and easy navigation and a seamless experience for customers and retailers
- Flexibility to accept many different cards: All cards accepted
- Ease of integration: Can be integrated with Android phones. No POS needed
- Integration with wearables: Can be used with wearables
Pomelo Pay is a newer player in the NFC contactless payment space and offers a more innovative experience for customers and retailers. With Pomelo Pay’s technology, businesses can turn any Android phone into a POS.
Customers simply tap their card or device onto the phone to pay, thereby negating the need for any physical POS system. Retailers can use the Pomelo Pay app to record transactions, offer card or cash payment options and accept card payments straight from their devices. Similar to other systems such as Samsung Pay, Pomelo Pay uses a tokenization system to encrypt card details, thereby protecting customer financial data.
All transactions are secure and encrypted, and the Pomelo Pay app can be used across smartphones and wearables, offering a great deal of flexibility. Using an Android device, retailers can speed up transactions and offer a seamless checkout experience for customers without investing in additional POS systems. In addition, Pomelo Pay charges a flat 1.49% on all transactions, and there are no hidden fees involved.