The pandemic increased focus on the health and safety benefits of payment transactions requiring no human contact, and consumers appear to have gone all-in on the trend. A survey by MasterCard found that nearly three quarters of cardholders around the globe like touch-free payments and want to keep using them, even after the pandemic subsides. Merchants have seen worldwide touchless payment usage double – and are seeking to meet consumer demand while leveraging the digital technology to their advantage. Many discover that it is much easier to do that by just investing in a more user-friendly terminal that comes with all the desirable future-forward bells and whistles.
Safer and Faster
Popular touch-free payment solutions like Apple Pay and Google Pay communicate with the credit card terminal electronically, using Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. The customer simply holds or waves their credit card close to the card terminal to complete a transaction. Adding a touch-free payment option is safer during the pandemic, but another major benefit is that it can significantly reduce wait times at checkout and increase cashier productivity. While it usually takes about 45 seconds to complete transactions the conventional way, contactless payments are completed in around 10 or 15 seconds.
What to Look for in Touch-Free Terminals
To enable such transactions, merchants need to have a credit card terminal that is compatible with NFC technology. Companies like Telium, for example, make smart terminals with built-in NFC readers. But businesses should also look for an NFC-capable terminal with additional features that enhance performance, security, connectivity, and customer service. For example, a terminal will have limited usefulness if it lacks the flexibility to accept all different kinds of payments or has unreliable network connectivity. Similarly, the terminal should not create annoyances for businesses and their customers such as printed receipts that are prone to ink smudging or fading. More importantly, the terminal needs to have safeguards and protections against hacking and data theft. Otherwise, the vulnerability can lead to potentially catastrophic legal and financial consequences for both the merchant and the customer.
Telium makes several desk model credit card terminals with sophisticated smart features, like the Desk/3500. This particular terminal can read conventional magnetic stripe cards, EMV chip and PIN cards, and can perform seamless touch-free NFC transactions. The operating system is protected with the most up-to-date security technologies, and network connectivity is available via ethernet, modem, and WiFi. There is also a color display and a thermal printer to generate high-resolution receipts.
The Desk/5000 is a top-of-the-line terminal that boasts hardened PCI-PTS 5.x certified security, supports all forms of electronic payments, and has a large, colorful touchscreen. The Desk/5000 delivers a best-in-class user experience, thanks to its intuitively designed interface and fast, dedicated-zone NFC card reader. Businesses can also run HTML5 applications on the smart terminal, adding to its value as a business and payment management tool. For example, HTML5 applications can communicate with external computer systems and interact with payment applications to support such functions as “pay at the table” convenience and gift cards or loyalty card programs.