The world is moving towards social distancing—and that includes retail. But in 2020 as the pandemic surged, it was contactless retail that showed the most growth with ecommerce sales increasing by 27% while the overall retail market declined.

That means today's retailer needs to grow increasingly concerned about building contactless payments. Do you need to identify opportunities for contactless payment options for your business? Here's how Figure Pay may have the solution.

How Figure Pay Works for Merchants

From the customer's end, seeking out contactless payments can be as simple as browsing the web. If you don't suit their social distancing needs, they'll find a payment provider who can. For many companies, that means emphasizing eCommerce. But what if you need to maintain social distancing in a physical retail space?

This puts merchants in a unique position: reducing friction at the point of payment requires a seamless way to accept contactless payment. Here are the basic elements that help Figure Pay work for merchants who need to upgrade their payment acceptance:

  • Contactless payment. A point-of-sale transaction through Figure Pay works simply. A merchant can ring up the sale from an existing register. The clerk can input the sale amount into Figure Pay. The Figure Pay app then creates a QR code that you can show to the consumer. They scan it from their end, and that's it—that's the entire transaction. The process can work through phones and QR codes, completely eliminating the need for contact at any point.
  • Low fees. For many merchants, reading the point above will sound familiar. This technology isn't new. However, it's the technology stack that makes Figure Pay different. Because Figure Pay works on blockchain technology, it can reduce the fees required to maintain an accounting of this transaction. This, in turn, incentivizes merchants to continue handling these contactless transactions with Figure Pay—after all, the fees can be lower than with other options.
  • Physical interaction. Let's say you're a merchant selling luxury jewelry. It can be difficult to do that in a retail environment in which the customer doesn't get to see the jewelry in person. It's a major transaction, after all. With Figure Pay, you can still initiate contactless transactions that facilitate your customers' need to see a product in person. However, eliminating that physical interaction element helps maintain social distancing. The result is that people feel more comfortable in a brick-and-mortar store.

Implement all of these benefits and you're on your way to a contactless, profitable retail presence. But it still doesn't answer one question: why not just use plain old credit cards?

Tap Payment Methods

These days, "tap payment" offers an alternative for contactless payment. A customer simply goes up to a kiosk, taps their credit card, and the transaction is fulfilled. From the customer's perspective, this is the ultimate in convenience: they only have to do one basic gesture and the payment is taken care of.

The problem is from the merchant's end. While you do want to give your customers as little friction at the point of sale as possible, the costs can add up. Credit cards often charge large fees for processing these transactions. In large, luxury businesses, those fees can eat up a significant portion of merchant profits.

Many merchants simply acquiesce to this system. After all, customers need to use those credit cards.

Figure Pay works by bringing the convenience of one-tap style payments to low-fee transactions. And because Figure Pay means that there are various credit card types compatible with the service, there isn't a problem with compliance. Customers can easily use compatible credit cards to fund a transaction, giving them more flexibility for purchasing within your store.

Why is Figure Pay an Alternative to Banking?

The benefits for merchants are obvious: you can log safe, secure transactions without direct contact with the customer. But no merchant can be sure that their payment methods will work unless it's consumer friendly as well. That leads to another question: why is Figure Pay a valid alternative to banking for the consumers who use it? Figure Pay goes beyond being a contactless retail solution. It's also a way for people to handle their finances independent of a banking system that can often feel slow and outdated.

To construct an alternative to banking, a payment system needs a few things, including:

  • Security. This may be the number-one concern for all consumers. Is their money safe where they put it? When you talk about alternatives to banking, many people may initially pull back. After all, aren't banks the safest place to keep money? But with blockchain technology, digital money can be kept perfectly safe. Figure Pay works as an alternative to banking because blockchain technology helps keep accounting.
  • Expenses. Or, to put it more accurately, the lack thereof. Your consumers can't enjoy a valid banking alternative if they're paying exorbitant fees. And you certainly can't expect your customers to pay you with a system that transfers the costs of transaction fees to them. With Figure Pay, the transaction fees are low enough to justify the payment from both the buyer and the merchant side.
  • Flexibility. Hooking into the Figure Pay system means that consumers can have flexible options for financing certain purchases. This gives them the power of a credit card, but with the added benefits of blockchain technology, forging a completely different way of handling payments at the point of sale. With that flexibility, consumers can enjoy broader access to the goods they want, not relying on credit scores and the traditional loan systems to secure their funds. As a merchant, this gives you access to a broader market: more people are able to pay.
  • Building a broader customer base. How many banking offerings allow merchants to develop more direct relationships with customers? With Figure Pay, you can establish long-term financing and build a roster of customers who consistently pay you. The result is an even more flexible revenue stream from customers you might not have been able to access before.
  • Speed. Be honest: how many times have you wanted a bank to handle your payments faster, only to be disappointed in the slow speed of the process? Figure Pay provides the power to work at a much faster speed. This isn't only better for consumers who need to keep tabs on their money, but it's better for merchants who need to keep the flow of commerce moving.

Contactless retail is the way of the future. Even if social distancing standards relax, there may be many people who have adjusted to the new way of doing things. By then, new habits will be established. Will your retail outlet be ready to handle these changes?

The good news is that contactless retail doesn't have to be a disadvantage. Done right—and with an option like Figure Pay—merchants can expand their business, pay less in transaction fees, and build a broad customer base. It only requires an understanding of the technology and a willingness to embrace it. After that, everything is out of your hands—quite literally.