Touchless times are here

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When the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, I think we all had a sense that we’d turned some kind of corner. The year 2020 probably wasn’t the best year for many of us, so the thought of a new beginning had us all a little excited.

The fact of the matter is, 2020 did change our world forever – and whatever lies ahead in 2021 (and beyond) is likely to have been impacted, in some way, by the events of 2020.

The world of payments is no exception. Think about your own experience over the last year and the last time you used cash. Right? So much has changed so quickly. 5 years of change in the payments space has happened in just 10 months.

The good news? Despite the many ways that 2020 impacted our future, touchless payments are helping to define the future of our cash-lite world.

No contact? No problem.

Let’s get real. People don’t want to touch anything anymore. Just how many companies boasted “contactless delivery” over the past 10 months? I’ve lost count. That said, removing the human element from day-to-day interactions goes against our needs as human beings. The last year has shown us all the importance the human element has in our experiences. 

That’s why I’m so hopeful about the payments space. There’s such a unique opportunity to have a touchless payment experience without losing touch with the human experience. 

Anyway, I’ll get more into that later. For now, let’s take a look at the current state of the payments industry.

Those stats really highlight the shift that’s happening in payments. Whatever was already happening before the global pandemic (the touchless payments™ market was expected to be worth $2 trillion in 2020 – and those were pre-COVID projections), those trends have been amplified by the fact that people aren’t using touchless payments™ just out of convenience, they’re using touchless payments™ because they feel it’s necessary.

Now, with all of the talk of dirty money, I think it’s worth pointing out that the fears around viruses being spread via cash aren’t exactly valid – but the thought of sharing any objects amongst people has solidified the shift away from cash; perception is reality. According to researchers at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), “Irrespective of whether concerns are justified or not, perceptions that cash could spread pathogens may change payment behavior by users and firms.”

Case in point: refer to above infographic.

People aren’t trying to get touchy-feely anytime soon.

Faster, More Secure

In addition to the “dirty money” perception, the fact that the world we live in demands faster, better everything points to the fact that tap-and-go touchless payments™ aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.

touchless payments™ are simple, easy, fast and effective.

The appeal of a fast transaction isn’t just centered around getting people on their way in record time, either. The effortless nature of a tap means that merchants can focus more on their customer, a volunteer on their donor, with more time spent interacting and less time focused on a cumbersome transaction.

Of course, in addition to speed, security is a major topic as the world moves towards touchless payments™ – especially in markets who have been slower to adopt this technology (i.e. the US). I’ve seen several comments in different forums and social channels where people are convinced this technology is a little too easy to be safe.

Here are the facts, according to Forbes Advisor:

“Like the chips in our credit cards, the contactless card chip creates a one-time code for each individual transaction to accompany your payment information. This code is transmitted with your account number when you “tap” to pay. Your name, billing address and card verification code aren’t transmitted.

Even if someone were able to fraudulently obtain your payment information, it would be nearly impossible for them to complete a contactless payment. In order to generate the one-time code, the thief would need to crack the complex algorithm that the bank uses to generate this.

This one-time code makes contactless credit cards safer to use than the magnetic stripe.”

Simple. Easy. Fast. Effective. Secure.  – my gut tells me these attributes are enough to suggest that touchless payments™ are here to stay.

The all-around experience

Beyond the statistics, as I mentioned earlier, I think touchless payments™ can truly offer “touchless” experiences that still maintain a human connection.

When placed in the right setting, the capabilities are endless.

Over 1,500 Salvation Army Christmas kettles were outfitted with tiptap’s touchless giving™ devices this past December. The kettles where volunteers were present raised more funds than those that were unstaffed.

What does this mean?

To me, this means people still value human connection. They still like to share a smile and a conversation. They can use touchless technology – a non-intrusive, 2-second experience – and still have a meaningful moment with another human being.

And that’s the beauty of the world we live in. Despite the current feelings of unconnectedness, of uncertainty, our desire to share genuine moments with each other still exists.

Coming together to bring touchless payments™ and touchless giving™ to the world

I’m excited about the future of touchless payments™ (if you couldn’t tell). I’m excited to use technology to create new experiences and new opportunities. I’m excited to use tech for good as tiptap sees a huge opportunity to help by bringing our touchless giving™ devices to charities who desperately need a solution for dwindling cash donations.

The best part?

Nearly 300 everyday Canadians have pledged funds and invested in the future of giving through tiptap’s FrontFundr campaign. To me, this means people see the need for tiptap’s solution. They see the change that it can bring not just to Canada, but to the world.

I invite you to participate in the future of touchless payments™ and touchless giving™ as tiptap continues to grow. Whether through a like or comment on our social channels or through a small investment on our FrontFundr campaign, every champion we have for our technology means the touchless future of payments becomes one step closer to becoming a reality.

I’d also welcome you to drop me a comment with the name of any charity that you think we could help. There’s such a great need out there, and we’d love to hear from the community about where tiptap devices can make an impact.

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