Next-Gen Payment Trends: Will The Pandemic Accelerate Contactless And Cashierless Options?

Payment is one of the most enduring sources of retail friction: even a pleasant shopping experience can quickly sour if the final moments of the transaction end up frustrating the customer. The COVID-19 pandemic has added an extra dimension to acceptable checkout processes, as shoppers now want to limit their exposure to public terminals as well.

This makes contactless and cashierless options more attractive than ever before, but retailers still need to find the payment options that best fit their operations. Cost to the company is one consideration — both in terms of the initial investment needed to set up new systems and the ongoing fees charged by payment providers — and enhancing the customer experience beyond just providing safety also is paramount.

This Retail TouchPoints Tech Guide explores some of the top trends in modern payment tools, including:

  • Contactless Payments: Credit and debit cards aren’t going anywhere, but shoppers are showing increased interest in digital wallets and other mobile options, which combine convenience, security and potential loyalty benefits for retailers;
  • Cashierless Checkout: These tools are still finding their feet, but one of the best ways to eliminate checkout friction and simplify social distancing is to eliminate checkout altogether;
  • Alternative Payments: No-interest financing plans and similar options can help shoppers make purchases they would otherwise put off; and
  • Next-Gen Solutions: Technology like biometrics can improve security and drive even more efficiency at checkout, and the lingering impact of the COVID-19 outbreak could push these options into the mainstream.

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