US Payments Forum sets out best practices for growing contactless payments adoption

Icons showing how to use contactless card
BEST PRACTICE: The US Payments Forum recommends clear contactless instructions at the POS

Customer and cashier education, experience and communication at the point of sale (POS) are all key factors that need to be addressed to boost contactless payments adoption in the US and overcome the currently fragmented experience, according to the US Payments Forum.

Its Consumer Experience at the Contactless Point-of-Sale white paper, published this month, sets out a number of best practices aimed at improving understanding of how contactless works and ensuring a good customer experience.

These include clear and consistent signage to show shoppers where contactless is accepted, communication from the POS terminal about when and where to tap, confirmation that the card has been read and the transaction approved or declined, and experienced cashiers to assist customers during the process.

“If all of these best practices are followed, merchants will be able to offer consumers a fast, easy and secure checkout experience that delivers on consumer expectations of seamlessness and convenience and leaves consumers with a favourable impression of their shopping experience,” the forum says in the whitepaper.

It suggests that while the optimum customer experience will vary across merchant implementations and markets, the ideal process is common to all:

  1. The consumer is alerted to the fact that the merchant accepts contactless by the presence of the EMVCo contactless symbol before the checkout process is initiated.
  2. At the appropriate time in the checkout process, the terminal prompts the consumer to ‘Tap/Insert/Swipe’.
  3. The terminal display is designed, and the cashier is trained, to help the consumer follow the prompts to complete the transaction.
  4. The terminal indicates a payment confirmation when the tap has been accepted. Often this confirmation is a message on the screen, but it could also be audible (such as a beep) or visual (such as a green light).
  5. The terminal communicates that the transaction is complete. When the authorisation response is received, the approved or declined result is displayed.