http://www.digitaljournal.com/business/contactless-payment-methods-are-key-to-retail-turnaround-efforts/article/581226

Contactless payment methods are key to retail turnaround efforts Special

Posted Nov 21, 2020 by Tim Sandle
With COVID-19 cases spiking around the country and brick-and-mortar retail foot traffic remaining stagnant, a leading adviser has recommended that the full-scale adoption of contactless payments can help to revitalize the physical store.
A vending machine that accepts contactless payments
A vending machine that accepts contactless payments
To consider how contactless payments can assist in bringing people back to physical stores, be that shopping malls or local convenience stores, Zenreach CEO John Kelly told Digital Journal that the application of contactless payment methods could be a lifeline for struggling retail establishments as they attempt to recover from the disruption that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused. Mnay retailers are bemoaning the fact that concerns with coronavirus infections have drastically reduced footfall within shopping centers.
Kelly begins by looking at the impact of the coronavirus upon traditional retail establishments, from the U.S. perspective: "Recently, the U.S. set a new record with 140,000 daily COVID-19 cases—the clearest indication yet that the coronavirus pandemic is far from over and is something that we will all have to live with for at least another several months. Understandably, a large portion of the population still has serious concerns about brick-and-mortar businesses’ health and safety practices."
Based on this, what measures can be taken to encourage people to return to the store. In considering this, Kelly states: "With the population on edge, it’s imperative that merchants lean in to enhanced safety and sanitation measures. After all, the more businesses that adopt these changes, the more consumers will begin identifying them as standards."
The answer, says Kelly, lies with digital payments technology: "A very important (yet often overlooked) callout involves contactless solutions. 53 percent of consumers have used a mobile contactless payment option for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, and an astounding 85 percent of consumers say that it is important that a retailer offer the choice for contactless payment."
Kelly concludes with the opinion: "Contactless solutions—for payments, price checks, and even in-store assistance—should go a long way toward alleviating consumer concerns."