Visa expands contactless payment app availability

visa mobile
Courtesy of Visa

Dive Brief:

  • Visa on Wednesday announced that its Visa Tap to Phone product is available in over 15 markets and will expand to the United States next year. The product allows merchants with Android devices to conduct contactless transactions at checkout without needing extra hardware. Visa Tap to Phone has been piloted over the past year. 
  • Merchants can download the app to begin accepting contactless payments. The platform builds on existing EMV chip transaction security measures, per the company statement. 
  • The company noted that contactless payments have grown 40% year-over-year. Forty-eight percent of respondents said they wouldn’t shop at a store that only offers payment methods requiring contact with a cashier or shared equipment contact, according to a recent Visa survey.

Dive Insight:

With COVID-19 driving consumers’ sanitary concerns, the pandemic could push further contactless payment adoption, but adding the technology has been expensive for retailers to integrate.

An August survey from the National Retail Federation suggests that the technology is gaining ground. More than half of retailers accept contactless cards, up from 40% the prior year, but 67% of retailers were worried about the fees and other costs associated with contactless transactions, per the organization’s findings

The rollout of the technology for smaller merchants might alter the in-store shopping experience for more consumers in the future, Mary Kay Bowman, global head of buyer and seller solutions at Visa, said in a statement.

Visa said the Visa Tap to Phone platform could make 2 billion Android devices internationally capable of accepting payments. The card issuer also noted that 63% of micro and small merchant respondents to its recent survey said they are likely to add Tap to Phone in their business, and 50% of consumers would use the service at retailers that offered it. 

As Visa puts contactless payments capabilities in the hands of small merchants, larger retailers like WalmartMichaels and Tractor Supply have also added similar features to their stores in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.