Contactless Card Reader: Should Your POS System Incorporate Them?

Monica Anderson


Efficiency is the name of the game for retail stores today. Customers want to get in, find what they need, pay for those items, and complete their purchases safely and securely. 

Consider Amazon Go, Amazon’s latest cashier-less grocery stores, which benefit from the fact that their customers live busy lives and are always interested in easy and quicker options. This is important because check out is often the part of a retail grocery store experience that can be the most cumbersome. 

So, what are the solutions to improve the efficiency in which your store can checkout customers? It’s not likely that every store can follow in the footsteps of Amazon. But, there are some other solutions that can help improve the point of sale experience for your customers, one of which we’re talking about today—contactless card readers.

Contactless card readers and credit cards are becoming quite popular today in the US, in large part due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to an April survey, Mastercard found that 82% of respondents said that contactless payments were a “cleaner way to pay.” Simply put, it allows customers not to have to give their credit cards to someone else who then returns it to them, or have it touch a shared payment device. According to Visa, their cardholders will soon be able to tap to pay at all Target and Hy-Vee stores across the U.S.

In Europe, the first contactless payment happened in 2005 in France and in 2007 the first contactless cards were issues by Barclaycard in the UK. By 2018, nearly half of all card payments across Europe were contactless*. Today it is standard across all points of sale and according to a June 2020 article, 78% of all Mastercard transactions across Europe are now contactless. Card limits vary from country to country, but in general, all transactions below £30 or €30 are tap and go – no cardholder verification (PIN or signature) creating a quick frictionless payment experience. With the COVID-19 pandemic, many retailers increased this limit to £45 in the UK to reduce the number of touchpoints involved in a visit to the store.

Contactless card readers and other solutions can be beneficial for more than just safety reasons. Here are three other ways in which contactless card readers can be beneficial to your store. 

Improve the Efficiency of Checking Out

As we hinted at, contactless card readers are great for helping more customers check out in a shorter amount of time. Contactless payments are much faster than cash and card transactions where PINs are required. Cashiers won’t have to count change or try to fix a card reader that won’t read the card correctly (we’ve all had the ‘invalid chip – please try again’ message). Essentially, it removes some of the friction from the buying process to create a more seamless experience for the customer. 

Improved Customer Satisfaction

As the Mastercard survey illustrated, consumers want contactless payment options with an overwhelming majority saying they make the shopping experience safer. Whether it’s a grocery store, restaurants, or retail shop, your customers will appreciate the fact that you’re offering contactless payment options. In addition to the demand for contactless card readers, customer satisfaction will also improve, as they don’t have to wait as long to check out. 

You can also demonstrate additional value for your customer by showing that you stay current with the latest technology that benefits your customers. By investing in technologies that make lives easier for your customers, you can be sure that they’ll become repeat customers. Giving customers with Apple watches or the latest android phones the chance to use these to pay will appeal to many. These tech-savvy consumers want to be on the cutting edge of technology and they certainly want to get as much use out of their expensive tech as possible!

PCI Compliant

Of course, a point of sale solution still needs to be compliant with the payment card industry (PCI). Fortunately, contactless payments are indeed PCI compliant. So, if you were worried about that, you can rest assured that you’re still doing things by the book. Contactless solutions are also just as safe as any other form of payment, if not more so. 

Other Safe and Secure Point of Sale Solutions

At ENS, we believe that safety and security are critical for every point of sale system. The need to deliver on these two facets is even more essential now, and will continue to be even long after COVID-19. 

Whether it’s our UV-Clean Solutions, Safe to Pay Extension Arm, Safe to Pay Handle, or Easy to Pay Mobile Carts, we have numerous solutions designed to make it safe and easy for your customers to check out. 

To learn more about our point of sales technology solutions, reach out to us today. And, for a full list of all of the products we offer, check out our product page, which breaks down our solutions by type so you can conveniently find exactly what you’re looking for.