WAND POS System with EMVAt the risk of sounding obvious, there’s a lot of change happening in the Restaurant Point of Sale (POS) landscape. One of the most exciting changes is contactless payment technology.

Contactless payment technology lets consumers make payments by waving or tapping a smartphone or other object. It’s a much faster and secure way to pay. And as those of us in the QSR and Fast Casual restaurant industry know, speed makes a huge difference for sales and profits.

Below is a list of three things you need to know about contactless payments with restaurant POS systems.

1. Near Field Communication (NFC) is What Drives Contactless Payment
NFC enables two-way communications that make it possible for mobile apps to provide valuable product and financial information to/from consumers. Services like Apple Pay, Google Wallet and others take advantage of NFC technology. The way contactless payments are implemented means the credit card data is never stored by the POS, which makes these payment methods more secure than traditional credit card transactions during which the old fashioned magnetic stripe is read, then the POS processes it before sending it to the credit card processor.
Takeaway: Use a POS system that has hardware options available to support NFC.

2. Apple Pay is Quickly Making Tracks
Apple Pay is Apple’s contactless payment service, and in many ways defines the space. Released in October 2014 it is showing early signs of success: Payments made through Apple Pay almost instantly accounted for between 0.1%-1.6% of transactions at five top retailers in the first month after the launch, a significant adoption rate, considering Apply Pay is only available on iPhone 6 and iOS 6 devices. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook over one million users activated credit cards through Apple Pay in the first 72 hours after launch. At the time of launch in October 2014, nearly 500 banks supported Apple Pay. That base continued to gain ground throughout the end of 2014.
Takeaway: Don’t disappoint affluent customers by not accepting this payment method!  Get ready to handle Apple Pay at your restaurant’s POS. Growth will continue to build, especially with the hot new Apple Watch coming.

3. Google Wallet is Close Behind
There are several Android mobile wallets in the marketplace, and they are benefiting from Apple Pay as a category.  Multiple sources confirm that leader Google Wallet saw a jump in payment volume following the launch of Apple Pay. Its usage skyrocketed, with transaction volumes jumping 50%. Meanwhile, the search giant’s payment service is seeing new users doubling sequentially compared to previous months.
Takeaway: Customers who love their new Samsung phone as much as you love your iPhone 6 will be thrilled to find out you take Google Wallet.

The good news is, when you look more closely it will become clear this is a great opportunity to improve security, efficiency, and customer satisfaction for your operation, all while potentially lowering costs, too.

We’ll be writing a lot more about this topic and other POS compliance topics in the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned!