The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has changed how we live our daily lives. It has affected everything from how we use our time to how we wash our hands, and even how we pay for essentials. As Covid-19 can be spread through things we touch – the World Health Organization (WHO) states that it can survive on surfaces for up to a few hours and even several days – there has been an increased focus on using contactless payments in order to stop the spread of the virus. But contactless payments aren’t just beneficial in the context of a global pandemic. Here are 4 reasons to use contactless payments now and in the future.
There’s no getting away from the fact that contactless payments are a huge help in the current situation. They mean you can pay for essential items without touching surfaces that other people may have touched. You only need to touch your card or contactless device to the payment terminal – therefore, removing the need to touch surfaces which may have the virus on them.
In fact, the government has actually increased the limit for contactless transactions to £45 since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, in order to encourage more people to use them.
When contactless payments first came along, there were worries among some that the method was not secure. However, one reason to use contactless payment is that they are very safe and secure; they give you the same protection you would get from using your chip and PIN. And contactless cards and devices are embedded with multiple layers of security to protect you against fraud.
Meanwhile, contactless cards only work when they are within a few centimetres of the terminal, so it is virtually impossible for any details to be intercepted. Also, contactless payments show up on your statement and in mobile banking apps, so you can easily track your purchases. (With cash, it is difficult to see where your money has gone unless you keep written records.)
Another reason to use contactless payment is because it’s quick. And quick payments can reduce queuing times. At the moment, social distancing measures and panic buying have led to some significant queues in supermarkets and shops. So anything that can shorten transaction times and move people along is to be encouraged.
The connection is also quicker on contactless terminals. Not only do you not have a multi-stage process to go through, which would be the case if you were using chip and PIN, but your actual payment is processed that much faster.
And if you need another reason to use contactless payment, well, they’re convenient! You only have to tap your card or device to a terminal and the payment is done. There is no need to enter a PIN or sign a receipt. And if you are anything like me and your purse has usually dropped to the bottom of your overfilled bag, then you can just take your mobile phone from your pocket or use your wearable device to make your payment.
In this situation where it’s important we spend less time in shops and touch fewer public surfaces, there are now more reasons to use contactless payment. Obviously, there are some people who will still need to make payments using cash. But for those of us who are able to make contactless payments, doing so not only reduces the amount of time we need at checkout, but also protects us from catching or spreading coronavirus.
The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Barclays, Hargreaves Lansdown, HSBC Holdings, Lloyds Banking Group, Mastercard, and Tesco.