Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay. These are terms customers have come to use and trust, especially after experiencing a pandemic. The past two years have brought about a boom in contactless services. Contactless, or wireless, payments include credit cards, debit cards, key fobs, smartphones and other mobile devices that eliminate the need for legal access during a transaction by using radio frequency communication with a reader device. As mentioned in Forbes, Predictions 2022: Five Payment Trends That Will Continue To Transform Business, there is a predicted push for seamless buyer journeys and everything online, especially wireless payments. Here, we’ll touch on key components of contactless payments, like QR codes, reasons to utilize these payments in the travel business, and their cyber security.
As mentioned in our previous blog, Travel Industry Predictions for 2022, contactless payments have and will continue to be incorporated into our daily lives, as well as the tourism industry . According to PYMNTS.com, 80% of buyer-to-supplier transactions could be completed electronically by 2025. And QR, or quick response, codes are part of the process. Invented in 1994 for the Japanese auto industry, these barcodes made their way to menus, billboards, and digital wallets. Users simply scan a given QR code, reach a payment screen, confirm payment, and seconds later, a transaction is made. QR codes not only connect consumers to payment screens, they connect people to information. The Cleveland Art Museum, in the United States, uses QR codes as part of an audio tour throughout the museum. No equipment needed, just a QR code and the visitor’s phone.
Health & Safety
From hotel keys to COVID vaccination cards, everything can be loaded to one’s digital wallet. With the increased concern for health and safety, the use of contactless payments is crucial. The fewer hands touching a device or touching money, the less cleansing required, and with that comes efficiency and customer peace of mind. Also consider the impact of labor shortages. Wireless payments are redefining how we utilize our current employees. There’s no need for an exhausted traveler to wait in line for a concierge check-in and physical room key, leaving the front desk staff to focus their energy elsewhere. The hotel industry has embraced the contactless marketing trend, while improving the check-in and check-out process and bettering the tourist experience.
Wireless payments, including payments via QR codes, can also be viewed as a tourism marketing trend. There are an increasing number of travel-related organizations offering smartphone applications that support contactless payments. These free and easy-to-use applications not only save clients time, they send links to special offers, and some even integrate discounts to those paying wirelessly. In 2019, the U.S.-Asia Center for Tourism and Hospitality Research found that 66.9% of travelers were driven to try mobile payments due to associated discounts. QR codes can be added to billboards, websites and social media sites. Staying ahead of the curve by implementing contactless payments is ideal for marketing and improves customer loyalty and trust.
Customer trust is also fueled by security, and safety is always a concern when money is exchanged. However, a stolen phone or credit card can quickly be canceled or suspended, preventing fraudulent transactions. A contactless QR payment doesn’t require personal information, like account numbers. Scanning the code connects a payment app to a consumer’s bank account, meanwhile the payment app is providing security by encrypting the payment information. Additionally, there is the added security of the customer logging into their smartphone or device with facial recognition or passcodes. Customers can travel and shop with greater confidence knowing they are less likely to become a victim of fraudulent charges.
If paying for services or goods is easy, then consumers are more apt to make purchases, especially add-ons or spontaneous buys. According to the PYMNTS.com study, an estimated 69% of consumers who now use digital wallets are shopping more than they did previously. Clients are expecting convenient, safe, and secure forms of payment, and the tourist industry must deliver. Contactless payments make transactions effortless while providing an additional layer of marketing and security. Remember, don’t touch – incorporate wireless payments and communication into your tourism business. For tips and tricks on creating and using QR codes in the tourism industry, look out for our future blog, QR Codes and Their Role in the Tourism Industry.
To learn how cryptocurrency plays a role in contactless payments, refer to our blog, Tourism & Crypto: Where’s the Connection?.
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