There’s no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has left a lasting impact on the way we do business and has fundamentally changed consumer behaviour. This means business owners are having to adapt their business models to meet their customers’ expectations for doing business in a safe, accessible way.

One shift in particular is impacting a critical business-consumer touchpoint: accepting payments. Not only are customer expectations changing around how they should be able to pay; there are also more expectations placed on businesses that they’re keeping their customers and employees safe by minimizing contact as the province starts to reopen.

Payment acceptance for business

How has the pandemic affected payments?

Attitudes towards payment methods have changed drastically over the past few weeks since Alberta first began physical distancing restrictions. Customers are expecting businesses to offer payment methods that don’t require the traditional exchange of cash or contact with a machine so that they can stay home and limit exposure.

A recent study done by Payments Canada outlines just how much consumer behaviours have changed when it comes to payments. Here are the key shifts they found:

  • Moving away from cash: Cash only is just not an option these days with 62% of Canadians using cash less often and 61% using ATMs less than before the pandemic.
  • Decrease in use of cheques: Among those who used to pay by cheque on a weekly basis, 40% report using cheques less frequently now.
  • Increase in Interac e-Transfers®: Interac e-Transfers are on the rise, with over 30% of people who used to be weekly users report using Interac e-Transfer more frequently now.
  • More online purchasing: 38% of Canadians are using e-commerce platforms more often to make online purchases.

Adapting to contactless payments is critical

Payments Canada’s study found that 42% of Canadians said they avoided purchasing from places that didn’t offer contactless payment, which means that this has become a consumer expectation; and it’s likely here to stay. “While we have seen a continued shift towards digital payments over a number of years in Canada, there’s no doubt that the prevailing pandemic has accelerated this shift,” says Tracey Black, President and CEO of Payments Canada. “And [it] will likely act as a catalyst in transforming the Canadian payment landscape forever.” So, if this expectation is likely here to stay and is significantly impacting purchasing decisions, making the switch to contactless payments is critical for your business.

How to offer contactless payment options

Being a Servus member gives you access to a world leader in payment processing with fraud prevention, customized pricing and no hidden fees. Chase Merchant Services™ offers everything your business needs to adapt to the new realities of accepting payment with training on all products offered over the phone.

Process payments on the go with the Chase Long Range Terminal or Chase Mobile Checkout Plus app and card reader, which turns your smartphone or tablet into a mobile point-of-sale solution.

Process payments online with e-commerce functionality set up directly on your website and 24/7 bilingual tech support.

Process payments over the phone with the Chase Virtual Terminal, which just requires an internet connection and a web browser.

Adapting to what customers expect is part of doing business and there are a lot of options for contactless payment solutions that will keep your customers safe.

Talk to your relationship manager about your business’s payment processing needs and other digital solutions to improve efficiency and save you time. We’re here to offer expert advice and connect you to the best solutions for your business.