Top Contactless Payment Options for 2021

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The COVID 19 pandemic has massively changed the way businesses operate, no matter how large or small they are. Retailers especially have to make loads of changes to how they operate. You may also have noticed a significant increase in contactless payments, which only makes sense considering the kind of predicament we find ourselves in.
Sure, this technology has been there for a long time, but it has quickly become a go-to option for most consumers and retailers as they seek ways to minimize virus transmission as much as they can. According to a reputable survey, there has been a 70% increase in contactless payments ever since January 2020. The survey also suggested that this percentage could increase to over 90% by the end of this year.

As businesses are acclimating to the changes driven by the coronavirus pandemic, contactless payments are becoming a major concern. This is because while there are plenty of options available these days, people still fall victim to unreliable contactless payment modes that are not as good. This piece will talk about the top contactless payment options you can choose from, making sure you can send and receive payments without any hassle.
However, before we proceed, let us take a quick look at what contactless payments are and how they work.

Contactless Payments – How do they Work

Contactless payment options allow shoppers to make payments for services and goods without the hassle of swiping cards, using a pin code, or signing for transactions. As the name suggests, contactless payments let you complete transactions without putting your hands on anything.

Customers utilizing NFC-based contactless payment options have to hold their mobile phones close to contactless payment devices. They can either tap the credit or debit card using an RFID chip to complete the transaction. In most cases, contactless payment options that use NFC and major credit cards provide the same high-security level as other card transactions.


PayPal has been a prominent part of the digital payment landscape for around two decades. The company announced the launch of contactless payments, enabling merchants to receive payments in stores. All they need to do is utilize the QR code feature present in the app, after which users can scan QR codes, enter the required amount and send cash right away. You simply have to generate a QR code and put it on display.

PayPal also provides its customers with hardware in the shape of credit card readers, allowing customers to make non-contact payments using microchipped credit cards and other options like Google or Apple Pay. PayPal’s online risk management system is one of the best in the world, as it will keep your identity and privacy completely safe.
The company also uses numerous tactics to prevent fraud, which includes data encryption and plenty of other strategies. What’s more, PayPal’s friendly policies are ideal for small business owners, especially if they don’t have POS terminals.

Apple Pay

At its launch in 2014, Apple Pay was introduced as a private, secure, and straightforward way to make payments using an iPhone. As time passed, however, this payment method became more sophisticated as it is now compatible with a variety of other Apple devices. You can add your debit and/or credit card to your mobile wallet and pay for various goods and services. What’s more, Apple Pay is compatible with most payment providers and card issuers, offering users total convenience.

Like most of the top contactless payment options, setting up Apple Play is also quite simple. The process only requires you to contact your payment provider, who will set your terminal up for accepting Apple Pay. As far as security goes, each Apple Pay transaction requires a password, Face ID, or Touch ID authentication. Transactions with higher costs may even need a signature. You don’t have to worry about losing your card’s information into the wrong hands, as Apple keeps them completely private and secure.

There are no extra fees for merchants for accepting Apple Pay. What’s more, businesses have to pay the same fees and rates they would give for traditional card transactions. The International Data Corporation stated that around 16% of cell phone users have access to the iOS system, which shows that having Apple Pay can benefit merchants.
What’s most impressive about this top contactless payment option is that you don’t have to pay any extra fees or get specialized Apple Pay equipment for your business.

Google Play

In 2018, Google stated that it planned to bring back several payment options like Google Wallet and Android play, merging them into a single brand known as Google Pay. You can access this payment mode on almost every Google product along with peer to peer transaction. That said, you should also have an Android phone or tablet with the Google Play app installed on it.

This contactless payment option does not authorize or process transactions. Like Apple Pay, Google Pay merely enables transactions through tokenizing cards and forwarding the info to the payment networks. Google also suggested that businesses collaborate with POS providers to ensure the systems they have are always ready to receive no-contact payment data.

Like the other non-contact payment options discussed in this piece, Google Pay offers complete privacy and protection to your information by utilizing multiple layers of security. It is also worth noting that Google Play doesn’t share credit card numbers. Instead, it has virtual account tokens or numbers with retailers. Since this payment option utilizes NFC technology, it only works if the other device is close to it, minimizing the chance of data theft.

Final Thoughts

Contactless payments are increasing quite rapidly. While there is a list of options out there, the ones mentioned in this piece are arguably the best ones you should consider using. The increase of non-contact payments and the pandemic’s lasting effects mean that almost all stores should consider the top contactless payment options during and even after the pandemic.

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