As retail and point of sale technology grows more advanced, companies are taking greater interest in offering contactless payments for consumers. These secure payments enable people to use credit and debit cards, key fobs and smartphones with radio frequency identification that can be waved across a reader at the point of sale. If retailers begin to offer these systems, they may need credit card processing software.
Interac Flash rolls out in Canada
At the Calgary Stampede in July, Coca-Cola was the first company to equip vending machines with Interac Flash payment capabilities within the park grounds. The technology allows people to pay for small-value items without ever scanning their cards, according to a press release from the company. The technology will expand to approximately 4,000 vending machines across Canada.
Interac is the first contactless payment option available to Canadians, though the trend may gain a foothold based on its ease of use. Contactless payments can protect consumers against credit card theft methods, such as copying and electronic theft. Interac adheres to strict Canadian point of sale compliance policies to prevent consumers from unauthorized transactions.
Mobile payments growing more popular in Canada
More than 50 percent of Canadian smartphone owners already use their devices to make payments on the go, according to a recent study from Technology Strategies International. However, Canadians rarely use their mobile devices to make in-store purchases. Most mobile payments are made from remote locations.
"The incidence of in-store payments using mobile phones is very low," said Christie Christelis, president of Technology Strategies International. "But with the increasing penetration of contactless payment acceptance terminals, coupled with the proliferation of NFC-enabled phones, we expect that by 2017, there will be almost three million regular mobile-payment users in Canada."
Canadian consumers' awareness of other payment options increased by 20 percent. Although mobile payments have grown, all other forms of electronic purchase have increased substantially in the past year. This could be the result of economic improvements contributing to higher personal spending on consumer goods and services. Electronic payments have allowed people to make smaller purchases that would usually be made with cash. The growth of contactless payments was reducing the number of cash transactions. Although cash is the most frequently used form of currency in Canada, it is expected to lose this position to electronic payments by 2017.
With more transactions being conducted electronically, companies need technical capabilities to support these advancements. Credit card processing software can help businesses manage the increase in electronic payments.