Flexibility, health and safety concerns driving massive increase of contactless payment tech


According to Bluegrass Digital’s Nick Durrant, every business must embrace contactless payment for ecommerce.

There is a definite increase in the use of contactless payment technology as a result of the growing consumer appetite for fast and flexible digital experiences as well as health and safety concerns.

According to the Mastercard New Payments Index, 95 percent of South Africans will consider using at least one emerging payment method, such as contactless, QR code, biometric or cryptocurrency.

According to the Visa Back to Business study, more than 60 percent of consumers would switch to a business that offers contactless payment options, while nearly 50 percent of the respondents said they would stop shopping at stores that only offered payment methods that relied on contact with a cashier or shared machine.

This sentiment is carried over into the retail space where more than 70 percent of respondents recording that they had used a new online shopping or cashless payment method. Additionally, more than 33 percent of consumers stated that they had shopped for groceries or household items online for the first time, and 28 percent of consumers stated that they moved to ordering food online due to the curbside pickup feature. 

“This data shows that digital transformation has changed the world and every business must embrace the contactless payment frameworks when developing an ecommerce site or mobile app,” says Bluegrass Digital CEO Nick Durrant.

“To ensure future growth, businesses will need to embrace contactless tap-and-go payments and online shopping by incorporating cashless payment options within their mobile app development projects. There has been a huge increase in app-based contactless payment options such as QR codes and digital wallets like Apple Pay and they are expected to gain traction within the ecommerce space,” he adds.

There are a number of advantages to contactless delivery app development, including enabling traditional retailers to continue conducting their core business operations while providing products and services, helps to maintain the safety of customers, meeting customer expectations and requirements as well as ensuring a good business reputation and competitor advantage.

Nick says, “Before starting the contactless payment app development process, it is critical to understand the various mobile wallet options available, the user requirements needed, and which payment options would be most suitable.”

Some of the mobile app contactless payment options to consider are: 

  • Mobile wallets: Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay are some of the most secure ways to pay. There is no transaction limit as long as the digital wallet can authenticate payments via biometrics such as fingerprints or face recognition and they all work via smartphone apps.
  • Online payments: This is the most popular payment method using a debit or credit card via a payment gateway. There are numerous payment gateways available to integrate with a mobile wallet. Customers can load and send money to and from a wallet using a debit or credit card.
  • QR code payment: This is a contactless payment method where payment is performed by scanning a QR code from a mobile app.
  • Wearables: The growing number of wearables are adding features like contactless payments with wearable apps.
  • Virtual terminals: This is a secure webpage that enables the merchant to enter card details on behalf of the customer to process a transaction, especially when the customer is not present. This method is mostly used for taking payments over the phone or by mail order.

“Paying with a smartphone is the way forward as an increasing number of retailers are already using NFC-based contactless pay terminals,” Nick notes.

PayFast has seen a 143 percent increase in mobile payments as more consumers start to shop online using their smartphones. The company recorded a 412 percent growth in QR code payments over the past year, with an 83 percent increase in total payment volumes and registered over 40 000 new merchant accounts. 

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