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How the pandemic is creating a need to shift to contactless transactions for restaurants and retailers

Published March 19, 2020


It’s no secret that restaurants and stores around the world are not able to operate as “business as usual” during the coronavirus global pandemic. Many nations declared a state of emergency to contain the spread of the virus by encouraging social distancing, which is creating challenges for everyone—especially site owners, operators and employees.

Restaurateurs and retailers, in particular, are dealing with the immediate downstream implications of this crisis on their business: fewer people moving about in public means significant cuts to revenue. According to Statista, global retail sales growth in 2020 was a negative 5.7 percent. And that's startling compared to the nearly opposite positive growth in 2019 (5.2 percent) and the projected positive growth of 7.2 percent in 2021. 

How businesses are coping with the crisis

To mitigate the disruption to their business, restaurants and stores are adopting various strategies. Most are sending customer communications at a much higher frequency, explaining the measures they're taking to limit the spread of the virus.  

Many restaurants, like McDonalds, have chosen to close their dining rooms. Walgreens continues to share advice on how to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Food delivery services like DoorDash have introduced “no-contact delivery. In China, 'contactless’ means putting the delivery on the floor and stepping at least two meters away – the customer does the same.


Bolster your business with mobile payment

In addition to adopting some of these practices, consider implementing a mobile payment strategy if your business doesn’t currently accept contactless payments. Enabling customers to simply wave their mobile phone over the payment device to complete a transaction is an extra precaution that could help prevent transmission and help customers feel safer. 

Contactless payments do more than protect your staff and customers from potential exposure to the virus. They can also increase transaction speed and improve the customer experience, too.

“Contactless cards and mobile near field communication (NFC) are much safer because they do not come in contact with the reader and no one else needs to handle the card in most cases,” says Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Princeton Junction, N.J.- based Secure Technology Alliance.

Related: Even during a pandemic, 87 percent of consumers say they'd rather shop in your store—as long as you have robust self-checkout.

Giving customers more payment choices helps boost sales

Research shows online transactions have higher ticket sales than in-person purchases - consumers spend an average 20% more per order.


How to bring contactless transactions to your business

And help keep customers and employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, while improving service:

When it comes to helping you navigate these challenging times, you have options - and NCR VOYIX is here to help. We’re committed to helping you find ways to keep your business running and help keep your staff safe.

Give your guests a contactless way to pay.

No app. No worries. Just Scan, Pay & Go

Need more information?