by Lütfiye Bilgin Rahimi
The coronavirus outbreak has become a pandemic and is spreading in multiple countries around the world. The number of cases is rising daily and governments are taking aggressive actions to protect the community. Although governments do this, we are at a time when we must take our precautions because it’s everyone’s responsibility to contribute to the control of the pandemic.
Everybody knows how to protect themselves from catching, carrying and passing on coronavirus. The tips for prevention are so simple: wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your mouth, nose and eyes, keep social distance, don’t share personal items, cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze. The list goes on and on...
Most people are nervous about touching any surfaces such as ATMs, POS devices, cargo boxes, cash, etc. We all become paranoid and try to sterilize everything coming from outside to home after quarantining them for a while.
As a part of the payment systems profession, the question now becomes: How can we use payment technologies to battle coronavirus?
That has never been a better time to say welcome to new technologies in payment systems. Below are some examples:
It is not certain how long the virus survives on surfaces. It may vary under different conditions, and the duration ranges from a few hours to several days. Because of that, we don’t want to touch the buttons or screens of ATMs. As is known, many banks already support cash withdrawal from ATMs via QR code. Up to now, most of us maybe haven’t been using it, but these days it is very beneficial and practical.
The World Health Organization warns people to wash their hands after handling money, so contactless payments are the safest way of shopping instead of cash and traditional chip & pin transactions. Most countries have already increased the contactless payment limit to reduce the need for physical contact with devices, and thus to prevent the spread of the virus. Many people have already used contactless cards in daily life, but it is also a good time to use digital wallets (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay, etc.) and wearable payment devices as well.
The solution of contactless payments on COTS devices is the best way of accepting payments on the merchant side in today’s conditions. It enables a merchant to accept payments with a contactless card, wearable device, mobile phone or tablet. Unfortunately, most of the time it is not possible to make contactless payments in traditional POS devices, but for this technology contactless is the only way of payment. Both globally and in Turkey, this technology is expanding. For example, Fiserv, a leading global provider of payment and financial services technology solutions, offers Soft POS solutions in Poland, where contactless payments are highly popular.
Connected cars equipped with in-car payment systems are an especially exciting solution to insulate people from interaction while making purchases. Drivers can make payments via a car’s dashboard for toll payments, food orders, parking payments, and other items. A couple of years ago, Honda Dream Drive was shown as a concept supporting the in-vehicle payments system that allows drivers to pay for goods and services such as fuel, movie tickets, etc. Unfortunately, the usage of this technology is limited and rare today, but it will be the most in-demand very soon.
Although it is not a new technology, remote payment offered with innovative solutions encourages us to use it in this period. To give an example, despite the conditions of today, there are still people who need to go out and use public transportation or taxi. Even in this case, the important thing is to reduce the contact as much as possible. Especially for taxi payments, completing the payment without exchanging money with the driver can be the best solution for this reason, using taxi application and complete the payment via a digital wallet or stored card is maybe not new for today but it is time it use it.
With all these behavioral changes, in order to stay safe and healthy, PayCore with a team of 300+ professionals, provides innovative, end-to-end payment technology solutions either as a license or as a service in over 35 countries.