I’m realizing more and more that Tap-and-Go or contactless payments offer the biggest opportunity for merchant sales professionals and ISOs coming out of the corona virus situation. Obviously, I’m being optimistic by using the phrase “coming out of.” Use of that phrase refers to the knowledge that eventually businesses WILL reopen.
Small business owners are grappling with questions such as:
· What does all this mean?
· How will I be able to accept payments?
· Can I let people into my business soon?
· Will I need to dramatically adjust business operations for another three to five months?
We know that consumers won’t want to touch objects which everyone else touches. Not much convincing will be necessary to remind merchants their consumers will be hesitant to touch a dusty terminal. The virus does live on surfaces.
Merchants need to realize Touch-and-Go and contactless payments will be the reality moving forward.
A big switch has already been seen in other countries and is now coming to the U.S. This is primarily caused by the corona virus. The question is how to leverage this situation to help business owners and grow our own portfolio at the same time?
My good friend, Patti Murphy, has already addressed the topic of industry facts and statistics in a great article written for the
Greensheet. Also, she talked about that topic in the podcast episode “Insiders’ Report.” Please refer to those for information about that realm.
My episode today will address sales tactics and strategies.
Perhaps only 60% of all small businesses are set up for contactless payments. “Set up” means the business has a terminal which could support those kinds of payments. However, there are no stats on how many are ready RIGHT NOW to take contactless payments and who realize they’re ready.
This is similar to the situation often found at businesses for accepting American Express. Although merchants say they can’t accept American Express, a card swiped works fine in many cases.
Often new terminals are set up for Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Tap-and-Go cards. But the business owner has no idea the terminal has that feature.
In my experience, the ability to accept the newer payments depends on geography. In LA, Dallas, or NY, these options are readily available. However, in rural markets, probably only 20% actively accept them.
Here are two approaches from a prospecting perspective.
#1. This subject is great to use when talking on the phone right now. Pitch to the owners to create awareness of the concern of consumers. There are plenty of studies indicating that people are less likely to use cash, knowing more people have touched it. That is a concern in the mind of the merchant. Also, explain that consumers won’t want to touch the number pad on their devices.
Agents may want to sell or lease terminals. The merchants could use one which can be turned for tapping payments. Or there could be a unit which comes out from the terminal. There are some variations for accommodating contactless payments.
#2. When you are back in the field, be sure your phone is enabled for Apple Pay and that you have a Tap-and-Go card. Here’s an example conversation with a merchant:
“How are you doing today? I’m out checking on all my customers, my merchant accounts. Just making sure they’re able to take Apple Pay and these Tap-and-Go cards since consumers are so fearful now of touching number pads. Consumers may not say anything, but they may not return to a business where they’re required to touch surfaces everyone else touches. I actually have a Tap-and-Go and my Apple Pay card here. Do you know for sure you accept both these kinds of payments at this time? [not sure] Okay, let’s pull up your terminal. Charge me a dollar. I’ll pay you $2 just to be able to check Apple Pay and the Tap-and-Go.”
This is a great opportunity right now and as business opens again. This reminds me of EMV when everyone needed new terminals to take chip cards. Although this may not be quite as big an opportunity, it is a more urgent opportunity in some ways.
Whereas convincing merchants the EMV was a requirement was difficult, convincing merchants to be equipped for contactless payments won’t be difficult at all! Everyone is aware of the underlying issue and risk.
Hopefully, this is something you can leverage in your market. You can help small business owners and consumers while limiting the spread of corona virus. And, as always, hope this helps you sell more merchant accounts!