accepting contactless payments

accepting contactless payments
Retailers have been at the forefront of adopting new technology to meet the ever-changing demands and needs of their
customers. New contactless technology for payments makes shopping easier and quicker for the customer, and offers
a number of real advantages to retailers. Contactless cards – and apps on mobile devices - present a good and viable
alternative to cash. They allow payment for small transactions to be completed much more quickly, reducing queuing
and waiting times for customers and result in increased customer footfall. In a modern world, where people are under
ever greater time pressure, when customers see long queues, they may either not come in, or abandon their purchase
altogether. The technology can be introduced relatively easily alongside existing payment systems. Merchants who
have changed their systems and adopted the technology to handle contactless cards have reported a significant upturn
in footfall.
To take advantage of the potential benefits that contactless technology can bring, retailers need to equip themselves
and train their staff to follow the right procedures and know how to deal with any issues arising. This guide is aimed
at giving some easy-to-understand advice on how to get the most out of this new technology to the benefit of both
retailers and their customers.
This guide was largely based on a similar guide by the UK Cards Association. EuroCommerce is grateful to them and our
members for their contribution to producing this guide.
Christian Verschueren
This document is intended as a support tool for retailers and their staff in approaching a new way of accepting
contactless payments. Given the technological complexity, the variety of different payment solutions and equipment, as well as diverse and evolving business conditions across Europe, it cannot be exhaustive.
3.Next Steps
1.1 Who should read this document?
3.1 Not currently accepting card payments? 15
1.2What is contactless technology?
3.2 Already accepting card payments?
1.3 C ontactless devices
3.3 Terminal placement
1.4 H ow does contactless technology work? 5
3.4 Contactless signage
3.5 Customer education and marketing
W hat are higher value
contactless payments?
2.Creating the best customer experience 7
4.Staff Training
4.1 A ddressing barriers to use
4.1.1 Security concerns
4.1.2 Prefer chip & PIN over contactless 18
4.1.3 Lack of recognition of contactless 18
2.1 M essages for the customer
2.2 B est practice
2.2.1 Choosing the device
2.2.2 Choosing the application
2.2.3 Customer verification
2.2.4 Processing the payment
5.1 Improved customer experience
5.2 Cost reduction
5.3 Risk reduction
2.2.8 Adding a tip
2.3 Troubleshooting
2.3.1Not a contactless-enabled customer device
2.3.2 Customer verification
2.3.3 “Card clash”
2.3.4Touching the contactless card or device
2.3.5Low or no battery power
2.3.6Terminal position
2.3.8Fallback to chip & PIN
4.2 Staff FAQs
5.Benefits of Contactless
1.1Who should
read this document?
This document is for retailers who are considering accepting contactless payments, or for
retailers who already accept them, but want
more information about new contactless devices and higher- value contactless payments.
Contactless is now becoming a mainstream
way of paying, and is also rapidly expanding
as a technology. Contactless payments are becoming increasingly common, not only on card,
but also on wearable and mobile devices. The
underlying technology for all of these contactless payment devices is the same, and offers a
consistent customer experience of fast, easy
and secure payment.
“The contactless solution has generated a real buzz...
it has allowed us to significantly increase our customer
service levels.”
1.2 What is contactless technology?
Contactless technology is another way for your customers
to pay for purchases using a card or a device without having to insert their card in the terminal or enter their PIN. It is
designed specifically to provide a quick and convenient way
to pay in any environment where the speed of transaction is
essential for customers. Retailers who accept contactless
payments will display the Contactless Symbol 1 :
Contactless cards display a Contactless trademark on
the front or back of the card, referred as the Contactless
Indicator 2:
If you do not currently accept contactless card payments,
you will need to speak to a company that processes card
transactions, known as a card acquirer.
1.3 Contactless devices
Contactless technology exists in a range
of different devices including:
• pre-paid, debit and credit cards
• wearable devices, such as watches and wristbands
• stickers
• mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets
• key fobs
A contactless-enabled terminal will be able to accept payments from all of these contactless devices. Contactless
devices, apart from cards and mobile device applications, will not necessarily display a contactless indicator or may
require the customer to activate them.
1.4 How does contactless technology work?
The contactless device contains an antenna, so that when
it is used at a contactless reader, it securely transmits pur-
chase information to and from the contactless reader.
To pay with contactless:
• T he customer touches or holds their card or device
close to the terminal. It has to be held within a few
centimetres (typically 4cm) of the terminal to work.
For added security set by the card issuer, the card application may ask the customer to provide a PIN, a mobile code, or
• The terminal will confirm that the payment has been
accepted, usually by beeping and showing a green
light indicator.
a biometric identifier, such as a fingerprint, for verification.
1.5 What are higher value contactless payments?
A higher-value contactless payment is any transaction that
exceeds the contactless limit3. Higher-value payments operate in a slightly different way to other contactless payments,
and must include customer verification using a device such
as cards 4 and mobile devices that supports the use of a
method of customer verification like a PIN, a mobile code,
or a biometric identifier.
1This is an EMVCo mark. EMVCo exists to facilitate worldwide interoperability and acceptance of secure payment transactions. For advice on
the use of the marks see
2 See footnote 1.
3Please note that the contactless limits may vary between Member States and are reviewed on a regular basis.
4Please note that customer verification using a contactless card is implementation- and scheme-dependent.
“Contactless card payments are easing
the customer shopping experience
and helping to displace cash to card payments”
the best customer
This section sets out the best practice for retailers to follow in accepting contactless payments.
This includes the main messages for customers
when they are considering using contactless;
the steps that the customer and the retailer
will need to follow to complete the payment
process; and troubleshooting tips.
2.1 Messages for the customer
Touch your contactless card or device against the reader to pay in seconds.
here is no need to find cash and you can easily track your purchases on your statement or
on your banking app.
ontactless payments are safe and highly secure. They have the same protection as chip
& PIN payments, making them safer than cash. For added protection from fraud, if you are
paying by card or other device you will occasionally be asked to insert the card and enter
your PIN.
If your card or device is lost or stolen, report it to your bank as soon as possible in accordance with your bank’s terms.
Excluding cases of fraud or gross negligence, European legislation limits a consumer’s liability to €150 for fraudulent or
unwanted payments, and there are plans for this amount to be reduced by the end of January 2018. National legislation
may afford better protection for the consumer.
“Offering contactless payment helps make
shopping and paying in store quick and easy,
reducing queuing times for our customers
and giving them choice and flexibility”
2.2Best practice
2.2.1 Choosing the device
2.2.3 Customer verification
If the customer wishes to pay via contactless, they should
look to see if the terminal or card reader has the Contactless
Indicator on it. They may have to activate their device or card
first by completing, for example, a Chip and PIN transaction.
Customer verification may be required for both contactless
cards and mobile devices. Purchases below the normal contactless limit do not usually require a customer verification
when using a contactless card; however, some mobile device
applications do require a verification step for all transactions,
including those under the normal contactless limit for your
Member State. Others may allow the customer to choose
whether to verify themselves for all transactions.
If they have a mobile device or a wearable device like a watch
they will need to check whether it is set up for contactless
payments. They may also need to take the application selection and verification steps.
2.2.2 Choosing the application
Because cards, mobile phones and other consumer devices
could store multiple contactless card applications, retailers
need to make it clear to their customers which category of
card they accept. Retailers may pre-select their application
preference, and let the customers confirm or choose their
preferred or alternative card application.
Retailers may ask their customers to provide an early
upfront indication if they wish to simply choose to Tap &
Go, or ask the customer to insert their card to select their
preferred choice, or if supported by the terminal, to double
tap their card for selecting their preferred card application
in between processes.
For mobile devices, consumers can activate one of these
applications before approaching the terminal or at any time.
Provided there is enough battery charge left, it is recommended that customers select a payment application to be
‘always on’ and which can be activated even when the device
is turned off or the power is too low to drive the keyboard
and screen.
Higher value contactless payments will usually require a
customer verification. Depending on the device and/or the
application requirements, the verification method can be
either a PIN, a mobile code (such as Mobile Code for Visa, mPIN
for MasterCard, Passcode for American Express) or a biometric identifier. PIN verification is always undertaken on the
retailer’s terminal while mobile code or biometric verification
is undertaken on the mobile device.
• Mobile codes – these should be from 4 to 12 digits, and
may be subject to the same controls as a standard bank
card PIN. The customer may only have a limited number
of attempts to enter the code before the application is
locked. Messages related to the status of the code will
only appear on the customer’s device and may be managed
directly with the cardholder’s issuing bank.
• B iometrics – where a biometric reader is available on
the customer’s device, the payment application may be
enabled by its use.
The mobile device or successful input of a PIN on the terminal
will provide confirmation to the contactless reader (of the
terminal) of the verification result.
To help avoid delays, retailers need to make it clear to their
customers which of the card types they accept so that the
correct or preferred application can be selected by the customer before approaching the terminal. Unlike a contactless
card, a mobile device will not have the card type printed on
it, although the card type and scheme logo may appears on
the device’s screen.
“Contactless payment solutions speed up
the checkout process for customers.
Contactless payment thus improves efficiency
in the payment process, as well as customer
experience, which contributes to a more
convenient shopping environment.”
Albert Heijn
2.2.4 Processing the payment
The four-step process below shows how you as the retailer,
and your customer, should interact with a terminal. The card
or device should always stay in the customer’s hand (or on
their person in the case of wearables), and both you and the
customer should follow the terminal prompts.
Retailer with stand-alone
payment terminal
Ask the customer to touch their card or
device against the Contactless Symbol that
appears on the terminal screen.
1. Select SALE from the device menu
2. Enter the transaction amount on the terminal key
pad, e.g. for €10.23 enter 1023.
3. Press the green ENTER button. If you make a mistake, simply press the yellow CLEAR button and
re-enter the amount.
The customer is simply asked to touch their
contactless card or device against the
reader to make t heir con t ac t l e ss
After a certain number of transactions, or if the card
transaction exceeds the contactless limit for your
Member State, or where the customer has opted to
authenticate themselves to the card or the device, the
terminal will prompt them to enter the PIN, or on a
mobile device, a mobile code or biometric identifier.
The customer may be asked to re-touch the device
on the reader in case of customer verification being
required and the terminal being ‘off-line’. Where this
occurs, the retailer should simply follow the prompts
on the screen.
The customer should look to see that
the Contactless Symbol is displayed on
the terminal screen so that they know the
retailer is ready to accept a contactless
You may want to have additional contactless signage
(see 3.4) around the terminal or within your shop to
show your customers that you accept contactless
No action to take.
It is likely that contactless transactions using a mobile
device, and all higher-value transactions, will require
authorisation by the issuer. Under normal circumstances, these will be invisible to the customer and will not
interfere with the transaction process.
The customer should keep their card or device
against the reader while the payment is processing (usually only a few seconds). The
terminal should beep or show a series of
green lights to show that the payment has
been processed. Some contactless card transactions will
require online authorisation; this may result in a slight
pause in the transaction process.
The terminal will approve the transaction. The terminal
will light up or beep to let the customer know that the
payment has been completed.
The customer will see the message displayed
that shows the payment has been approved.
The terminal can be set up for the printing of a retailer
receipt for your records. For transactions less than the
normal contactless limit for your Member State, a receipt
will not be automatically printed for the customer (although
you can set up your terminals to do so if you wish).
For payments over the normal contactless limit, the production of a receipt is subject to the terminal implementation
process and is card scheme dependent. A receipt must be
produced if the customer requests one and if the terminal
is technically capable of producing a receipt. Receipts can
also be distributed electronically.
To print an additional receipt for customer, tear off the
retailer copy, press ENTER to return to the ready screen
and press the button to print the customer receipt again.
Refunds may be processed using contactless cards and devices,
and using the contactless reader to capture the card details.
Where a mobile device was presented for the original transaction, any refund must be completed using the contactless interface, though this is currently not possible in all
Member States.
Although it is not to be encouraged, some mobile devices are
able to display an image of the card that will allow a key-entered
refund to be carried out.
If supported by your card payment scheme, cashback can
be offered with a contactless transaction purchase. As the
cashback may push the amount over the normal contactless
limit for your Member State, this will probably only be available on a device that includes customer verification, such as
a card or mobile device. For advice on accepting purchases
with cashback transactions please refer to your acquirer.
2.2.8 Adding a tip
If supported by your card payment scheme, you can add a
tip to a contactless transaction, but you should make sure
it is added before the device is presented. If the bill with
tip comes to more than the normal contactless limit for
your Member State, the transaction will either have to be
processed as a higher-value contactless transaction or a
standard chip & PIN transaction.
2.3.1Not a contactless-enabled
customer device
2.3.4Touching the contactless card
or device
If the card does not have the Contactless Indicator on it, then
it cannot be used to make a contactless payment. If your
customer is using a mobile phone or another device, they
will have to check if they have set it up to make contactless
If the card or device is too far away from the Contactless
Symbol on the terminal (being the point where the customer
should touch their contactless device) it may not be possible
for the terminal to accept the payment. The customer should
hold the card or device within a few centimetres of the contactless symbol.
Ask the customer if they have another contactless device
to make the payment or, if this is not available, request they
make the payment using chip & PIN.
2.3.2Customer verification
The contactless acceptance process has a built-in level of
protection to ensure that it is the valid cardholder that is
making a contactless payment.
For contactless cards, the customer may occasionally be
asked by the terminal to enter their PIN. You can reassure
the customer that this is just a security check and that they
will have no problem using contactless next time.
For mobile devices such as smartphones, customers may
have different levels of verification built into their application process, which require the customer to authenticate.
Once they have done so, the transaction can take place in a
contactless way.
Payments over normal contactless limits will only be
available on cards and devices that allow customer
verification methods input like PIN entry, mobile code or
biometric identifier.
2.3.3 “Card clash”
If the terminal is unable to communicate with one card or
device because it interferes with another card or device near
the terminal, it will be unable to complete a transaction. It
is therefore important to check that the customer is presenting only one card or contactless device to the terminal.
For example, the customer could be holding their wallet or
purse against the card reader with more than one contactless card inside, or the customer could have their activated
mobile device next to a contactless card. Where this is the
case, the terminal will display ‘Please Present One Card Only’
or a similar message, and the transaction will not be allowed
to proceed. This is sometimes referred to as ‘card clash’.
Ask your customer to choose which card or device they wish
to pay with and present this alone to the reader.
Check that the card or device is being touched flat against the
contactless symbol and not at an angle.
Each mobile phone will have a different ‘sweet spot’ where
the contactless antenna is at its most effective. Customers
may experience difficulties finding the correct way to touch
their device against the reader, but over time they will become
used to their particular device.
2.3.5 Low or no battery power
Some handsets require power to allow contactless transactions to take place. If there is no power in the device then
transactions cannot be undertaken and in such cases an
alternative payment method should be sought.
In some environments, particularly when travelling, it is good
advice for customers to be aware of the impact this may have
on their ability to pay.
2.3.6 Terminal position
Terminals must be positioned so that all customers can easily
touch their contactless cards or devices against the terminal.
If there are any metal objects, for example a stapler or a pair
of scissors, near to the terminal, they may interfere with the
connection between the device and the terminal. These will
need to be moved away from the terminal.
2.3.7 Declines
If a contactless transaction is declined, the terminal display
will notify the cardholder of the outcome.
For a transaction on a mobile device, it is possible for the
issuer to send messages relating to the decline decision to
the customer’s device, directing them to contact the issuer.
Retailers will never be asked to retain a customer’s card
or device.
2.3.8 Fallback to chip & PIN
The customer may occasionally be asked by the terminal
to either enter their PIN or to insert their contactless card
and enter their PIN or sign. You can reassure the customer
that this is just a security check and that they will have no
problem using contactless next time.
From time to time the acquirer may, during the transaction
process, require the retailer to make contact with the card
issuer before a transaction is completed. Such transactions
are not possible with contactless cards or devices and the
terminal will treat any responses of this type as a decline.
For transactions conducted with a mobile device there may
be no way to fallback to capture the card details so an alternative payment method should be sought.
If the terminal will not process the transaction and it has a
Contactless Symbol, it could be because the device’s internal
antennae is broken (in which case you should contact your supplier) or that the card or device is new or has not yet been activated.
If this is the case, ask your customer to contact their card issuer
and select a chip & PIN card to pay with.
3.Next steps
This section sets out what you need to do as
a retailer to accept card payments; or if you
already accept card payments, how to accept
contactless payments and higher-value contactless payments. It also suggests some ways
to encourage customer use of contactless.
3.1 Not currently accepting card payments?
If you do not currently accept card payments, you will need
to speak to a company that processes card transactions,
known as a card acquirer. If you undertake an internet
search, you should be able to find out which card acquirers
best serve your country.
3.2 Already accepting card payments?
The first thing to establish is whether your payment terminal is capable of accepting contactless payments. It is
likely that the terminal screen will display the Contactless
Symbol if this is the case. If you are unclear about this, then
either refer to the manual or contact the terminal provider
to validate.
• C onfirm that the selected reader carries appropriate
branding for the card types accepted, and ensure that any
overlays on the acceptance zone do not use metallic materials or anything that may affect the reader’s performance.
• High-speed authorisation connections are required (e.g.
broadband, DSL, leased line or V-Sat).
If your terminal does not accept contactless payments,
then contact your acquirer/ terminal provider to find out
the best way to enable contactless payment acceptance
within your business. This is likely to involve either replacing your existing terminal or obtaining an add-on contactless reader to support your existing payment terminal.
If you decide to accept higher-value contactless payments,
your terminals or point of sale (POS) devices must already
accept contactless payments and conform to the payment
scheme specifications. You can discuss this with your
A variety of contactless readers and terminals are available. When choosing equipment you should consider the
It is recommended to only print a receipt should the customer specifically request it, so ensuring that you and
your customer obtain the benefit from the unique speed
of transaction offered by contactless.
• Select the model which best suits your business needs –
this may be an add-on contactless reader, a fully integrated point-of-sale system, a mobile device, or an unattended
3.3 Terminal placement
To get the best consumer experience it may be necessary
for you to re-design or re-configure your checkout points.
Contactless readers need to be placed somewhere that is
convenient and easy for customers to use while flexible
enough to accommodate customers with disabilities by, for
example, allowing the card reader or terminal to be removed
from any cradle and passed to the customer.
3.4 Contactless signage
A variety of contactless signage may be available from your
acquirer. Signage is helpful as it highlights contactless as
an option to customers when they are about to pay and are
most receptive to changing their behaviour.
Customer posters: it is best to display customer signage
in areas where footfall is highest; an ideal place would be
where customers are getting ready to pay.
Staff posters: should be displayed in staff areas for example
in a staff common room or changing area.
Window stickers: display where customers are most likely
to see them, on the inside of a window facing out, on a glass
entrance door for example.
Receipts: it is useful to print signage on receipts as the
customer will be reminded about contactless as a payment
option when they get home.
3.5 Customer education and marketing
You may wish to run some marketing and advertising campaigns
promoting the use of contactless payments in your business.
“The possibilities for retailers to develop a seamless
customer experiences are much more pronounced using
contactless & mobile payments. Banks and retailers
should more work together in bringing the right solutions,
standards and customer education in a way that creates
added value to all our customers.”
Colruyt Group
4.Staff training
This section sets out information you can use to
help your staff overcome customer objections,
and includes FAQs.
It may be useful to keep a staff reference guide
by the tills until staff are comfortable with how
contactless works.
The best advocates for contactless payments
are your own staff. Where they regularly use
a contactless card or device for payments in
their normal daily lives, they can appreciate
contactless from a customer’s perspective.
They will see and feel the considerable benefits
that contactless brings to them. If they do not
currently have a contactless card or device, try
to encourage your staff to ask if their current
card issuer can supply them with one.
4.1 Addressing barriers to use
4.1.1 Security concerns
Reassure the customer that contactless is secure.
Contactless card payments benefit from the same range
of features found on a standard chip & PIN card, and transactions are processed through the same secure networks.
Mobile contactless payments also benefit from similar
security features.
There is a maximum amount for a contactless transaction,
which varies between Member States. If it is a higher-value
payment, the customer will have to verify themselves. The
card or device has limits built into it when it is being used for
a contactless payment. This means it can only be used for
a certain number of consecutive contactless transactions
before the customer is required to verify themselves5.
All contactless payments, as with other card payments, are
covered by the issuing bank in the event of fraud. European
legislation limits a consumer’s liability to €150 for fraudulent
or unwanted payments, and there are plans for this amount
to be reduced by the end of January 2018. National legislation
may afford better protection for the consumer.
All contactless devices rely on the same underlying, secure
transmission technology. On mobile devices, the cardholder’s payment details are held securely and may also be protected using a process called tokenisation.6 This substitutes
the cardholder’s account number for a "token" value that is
only valid for transactions from that device.
4.1.2Prefer chip & PIN
over contactless
Reassure the customer that contactless transactions are
secure and offer the same level of protection as if they had
performed a chip & PIN transaction.
4.1.3Lack of recognition
of contactless
Highlight the Contactless Indicator on their card to the
custom­e r and prompt them to give contactless a try.
5The customer performs a so-called customer verification by entering either a PIN, a mobile code or a biometric identifier such as a fingerprint or retina scan.
6Tokenisation is the term used to describe a process by which surrogate values are used to replace the Primary Account Number (PAN) in the
payments ecosystem.
4.2Staff FAQs
Q1: What if a PIN is requested?
A.The terminal will occasionally ask customers to either input
their PIN or insert their card. When this happens, you should
just carry out a normal chip & PIN transaction. Let the customer know they should have no problem using contactless
next time.
Q2: W
hat if a customer requests
a receipt?
A.Contactless receipts are optional but you should always
ensure you have the capability to provide one if the customer
asks, as long as the terminal is technically capable of printing receipts. To print a customer receipt, tear off the retailer
copy, press ENTER to return to the ‘ready’ screen and press
the button to print the customer receipt. Note: if your terminal
does not give you a receipt option, press the appropriate key
at the READY prompt. Make sure you do this before the next
Q3: C
an customers add a tip to
a contactless transaction?
A.Yes – if your terminal has this capability and tips are supported by your card payment scheme, but make sure it’s added
before the device is presented. If the bill comes to more than
the maximum contactless limit in your Member State, the
transaction will either have to be processed as a higher-value
contactless payment (if a mobile device or similar), or a chip &
PIN transaction (if a card).
Q4: C
an I give a refund with the
contactless terminal?
A.Refunds may be processed through contactless cards
and devices by using the contactless reader to capture the
card details.
Q5: C
an I offer cashback with
contactless transactions?
A.Cashback can be offered with a contactless transaction purchase provided it is supported by your card payment scheme.
As the cashback is likely to push the amount over the contactless limit, this will probably only take place on a card or
device that includes customer verification, such as a card or
a smartphone.
Q6: Can I accept contactless cards
issued from any EU Member State?
Q7: W
ill I be able to accept new contactless payment devices, such as mobile
phones or wearable devices?
A.Yes, as long as they have been activated by the customer and as long as you accept cards from the card payment
scheme, you can accept payments from any card with the
Contactless Indicator.
Q8: W
hat happens if a contactless
payment is declined?
A.The terminal will notify the customer that their payment
has been declined. You should then ask the customer to complete their payment using another contactless card or device,
or using another standard contact chip & PIN card.
Q9: C
ould someone unknowingly make
a transaction as they walk past
a reader?
A.No. The retailer must have entered the amount for the customer to approve first, and then the card or device has to be held
within a few centimetres of the terminal for a few seconds.
Q10: I s there any chance that payments could be taken twice from
a customer’s account?
A.No. Contactless terminals are only able to make one transaction at a time. As a safeguard, each transaction must either
be completed or voided before another can take place. If two
cards/devices or more are presented at the same time, the
terminal will recognise that there had been a card clash and
no transaction will be processed.
Q11: C
ould the customer’s card details
be intercepted during a payment?
A. Contactless only works when a card or device is within a
few centimetres of the card reader. This makes it virtually
impossible for any details to be intercepted while in use.
While a contactless card reader can interrogate a card provided it is within a few centimetres of the card, it will only
release the same information that is displayed on the front
of the card. A fraudster would find it very difficult to use
this information elsewhere, and it couldn’t be used to make
a cloned card. In the case of fraud, cardholders are protected
and have the right to a refund for any unauthorised transaction, as long as the card issuer has been notified.
A.Yes – as long as you accept cards from the card payment
scheme, you can accept payments from any card with the
Contactless Indicator.
of Contactless
Contactless payments can improve the customer experience and help reduce your costs.
Contactless payments can operate seamlessly alongside your existing terminals and other
ways of taking payments, whether by cash,
cheque or card.
Contactless payments are a good substitute for
cash payments. A high percentage of the value
of consumer cash payments is made up of payments for amounts under the contactless card
limit. The largest number of these payments
is made in supermarkets, followed by petrol
stations, then restaurants/cafes/takeaways.
“The contactless payment solution speeds up checkout
for customers, as actual payment time is reduced threefold.
With a simple wave, customers pay for their purchase,
without having to insert their card or enter their PIN.
In addition to saving time, contactless payment is very easy
and convenient for consumers.”
5.1 Improved customer experience
Accepting contactless payments may lead to increased revenue
for your business, for the following reasons:
• Faster transactions – contactless technology is one
of the fastest card payment methods. The contactless
device simply needs to be touched onto your secure
reader to make a contactless payment and, in a few
seconds the payment is complete. For the majority of
contactless transactions, no verification, receipt or
additional authorisation is required.
• Convenience – accepting contactless for small purchases makes life easier for your customers as they
do not need to have the correct change or carry cash
around. Equally you do not have to spend time counting
out and giving them their change or paying cash into
the bank.
A restaurant chain estimated that the average transaction value on contactless cards is up to six times that
of cash payments; a Football Club estimated it as 50%
higher and a fast food burger restaurant as 40% higher.
plift in footfall – in certain retail areas, accepting contactless payments has helped retailers become the preferred
place for contactless card users – especially at times when
they are limited by cash availability. For early adopters in
an area, there is the potential to attract new customers by
using appropriate window signage indicating your business
accepts contactless.
• Increased throughput – where queues are removed or
reduced, more customers can be served, and for many
retailers increased throughput will translate directly
to increased revenue. If you know the value of each
second saved at the point of sale, and you can estimate
the number of transactions below the contactless limit
in your Member State that will convert to contactless,
you can calculate the direct savings of reduced transaction time.
• Fewer abandoned sales – customers may walk out of
your shop because of long queues, so quicker transactions could reduce the number of abandoned sales.
• I ncreased average transaction value (ATV) – customers may be constrained by the amount of cash they
have on them and so may spend more if using their
contactless device. In the case of vending machines,
the replacement of coin provides the opportunity to
sell higher-value goods. In addition, where pricing has
previously been limited by coin denominations there
is the opportunity for more flexible pricing.
5.2 Cost reduction
Reducing the use of cash in a retail business may well provide cost savings,
particularly if a significant proportion of cash purchases are converted to card.
Contactless device transactions can also have cost savings over chip
& PIN transactions and these savings can be made in:
• Improved staff productivity – as more customers make
contactless transactions with minimal staff intervention, point-of-sale staff resource requirements could
be reduced or reallocated.
• Cash handling – staff will need to spend less time on
cash handling/ back-end processing, and a reduced
cash float potentially means savings on insurance and
fewer trips to the bank.
• Cash shrinkage risk (theft and fraud) – having less cash
on your premises reduces the risk of theft and fraud.
• Reduced receipt handling – subject to Member State
rules and terminal configuration, a receipt only needs
to be produced for a contactless payment when a customer requests one, or for a higher-value payment.
Producing fewer receipts can provide cost savings
in staff time and also cut down on terminal failures,
which are often caused by receipt paper either running
out or causing faults.
5.3 Risk reduction
Contactless devices come with the same security and
guarantee protection as other card payments. For added
protection, from time to time the customer may be asked
to enter their PIN to verify they are the genuine cardholder.
If the customer’s card or device is lost or stolen, customers
are protected against fraud loss so long as they report it to
their bank as soon as possible, and in accordance with their
card issuer’s terms.
As with all card payments, the risks to the retailer are lower
than other payment types for a number of reasons:
• E xistence of an audit trail – a transaction record is
available and (subject to terminal configuration) could
include a line detail of the item sold.
• A ssured payment – provided the contactless transaction is processed correctly, there are very limited
chargeback rights, and limited liability for lost and
stolen cards.
• Risk managed by the card/device – for the majority
of transactions, the decision-making process will be
between the card or device and the terminal. No other
processes (such as Stand-In Processing) will intervene.
EuroCommerce is the principal European organisation representing the retail
and wholesale sector. It embraces national associations in 31 countries and
5.4 million companies, both leading multinational retailers such as Carrefour,
Ikea, Metro and Tesco, and many small family operations. Retail and wholesale
provide a link between producers and 500 million European consumers over a
billion times a day. It generates 1 in 7 jobs, providing a varied career for 29 million
Europeans, many of them young people. It also supports millions of further
jobs throughout the supply chain, from small local suppliers to international
businesses. EuroCommerce is the recognised European social partner for the
retail and wholesale sector.
1 in 4 companies
in the EU
10 % of EU’s GDP
29 million jobs
99 %
1 in 7 of all jobs,
many of them
young people.
of which are SMEs.
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April 2017
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