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Contactless payment methods need to improve the customer experience

Friday March 8 2013

Retailers believe high street has to enhance its combined on-line and off-line offer

A survey by Vista Support has found that 92% of retailers believe that they will have to change the high street experience over the next five years in order to compete with other purchasing options. The survey looked at some of the reasons behind the slow adoption of contactless payments to-date. 
“The success of online shopping shows that the current challenges of lack of awareness and transaction security faced by contactless can be overcome,” says Richard Olds, CEO, Vista Retail Support. “More than half of business to consumer (B2C) firms surveyed already offer an online alternative, with 42% believing that a large majority of their customers now trust the online experience.”
The majority (60%) of retailers say that, to be successful, the high street will have to provide a combined on- and off-line shopping experience that is fast, effective and easy-to-use.  This compares to only 24% who believe customers will not pay a price premium on the high street and 16% that the high street will have to offer an even better service.

The checkout currently provides the greatest source of customer frustration in-store, according to 76% of respondents, with only 6% believing that customers do not generally have a problem here.  Reinforcing this, 65% believe that customers are less patient when queuing at the checkout than five years ago and is the most likely reason why customers switch loyalty to another store or purchasing method.

“This clearly presents an opportunity for alternative payment mechanisms to have an impact,” says Olds. “Yet if contactless is to be the ‘next big thing in retail’, all the signs are that this is still a long way off. What seems clear is that in order for it to make a greater impact on the consumer, this will only happen if it significantly improves the customer experience.”