How the 'new normal' might be a better normal
By Judopay's CEO, Jeremy Nicholds
On 10th May I was quoted in the Sunday Express article, ‘Pandemic may usher in a cashless new world’, discussing how cash is a dirty means of payment and why contactless is better – “Smartphone apps such as Apple Pay and Google Pay are even better, as they are secure, hygienic and with no transaction limit.”
As a society, we are clearly at the dawn of a ‘new normal’. Although it is hard to predict precisely what that will be, or, how much we will need to change our behaviour to return to a way of life that feels safe and familiar, the payments industry will need to remain agile and adaptable to meet whatever lies ahead.
We have already seen significant change in behaviour as a result of COVID 19, with consumers shunning ATM cash withdrawals and looking instead for contagion free payment solutions. Contactless has been a major beneficiary – assisted by the banks and card schemes adjusting contactless card payment transaction value limits (now up to £45 in the UK) to encourage people to use the payment method, prevent unnecessary contact and therefore reduce the risk of COVID-19.
However, we can go further than this to ensure payments are accessible and safe for all to use. For example, a more favourable way of making contagion free payments would be to use an eWallet, such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, as I mentioned in the Express article. Then, not only will a consumer have a better way to pay in face-to-face environments, they will also have a better and more convenient way to pay online or in-app.
This is close to my heart having been involved in launching Apple Pay in the UK and Europe whilst at Visa, as well as in my current role at Judopay. At Judopay, we were a proud launch partner of Apple on the in-app side.
When it comes to such alternative payment methods (APMs), they have a number of layers of security that make payments faster and safer. For example, when you load your card into Apple Pay, the card details are tokenised for that device only, loaded into a secure, encrypted element on the device, similar to the chip on a card, and then authenticated with biometrics.
And there are other ways to pay for goods that are secure, hygienic and fast. Yoyo Wallet is a great example which tokenises payment details and uses a dynamic QR code so that customers can make “contactless” payments simply by scanning the code at the checkout. These payments can be faster than contactless card payments with some well-established eWallets like Yoyo having great loyalty and reward features, as well as ‘order ahead’ functionality. These engagement tools will become more important I feel as life gets more ‘remote’ and we lose face-to-face interaction.
App based payments will also feature more going forward. Certain sectors have been quicker to embrace the possibilities of apps with integrated payments – parking for example, taxis and private hire certainly and in the food & beverage sector the likes of Starbucks and Caffe Nero were early innovators. But this will undoubtedly become bigger – in hospitality for sure and in retail more generally. On that, a current bugbear with Sainsbury’s – my local supermarket – is that their otherwise great SmartShop app is missing payment, meaning that I need to touch their terminal at the end of the journey to initiate payment rather than staying with my own hygienic handset.
It is important that society gets comfortable with APMs and app-based payments, I feel, which I’m sure they will do once they have recognised the safety and convenience of these options.
Always looking to lead from the front, I am approaching over 18 months of ‘cashlessness’ now, and have found it a more convenient, faster and safer way to pay for the goods and services I need. Oh, and more hygienic too!
A new normal could mean a better normal if we get this right – in payments and more generally.