As consumers and businesses increasingly turn to digital payments during COVID-19, new consumer payments research from Visa shows how ‘tap to phone’ solutions could bring more small businesses into the digital economy.

Tap to phone enables sellers to accept contactless payments directly on their own Android NFC-enabled smartphone, without the need for a separate payment acceptance terminal. Instead of tapping a contactless card, phone or wearable on a terminal, the customer taps on the seller’s smartphone to pay.

The research has revealed that 41% of Australian consumers would likely use tap to phone payments, despite solutions not yet being widely available.

“Australian consumers have led the world in the adoption of contactless payments, and given the ubiquitous use of smartphones in our daily lives, we expect the new tap to phone form of payment will be a popular choice as people become more familiar with the technology,” Visa group country manager for Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific, Julian Potter said.

“Beyond consumers enjoying secure and convenient payments, tap to phone provides a significant opportunity to expand digital payments acceptance to small and micro businesses, enabling these sellers to reach more customers and increase their sales.”

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell says small businesses stand to benefit from using technology to facilitate contactless payments.

“Small businesses can reduce the costs associated with accepting digital payments by using tap to phone technology. It allows small businesses to use their smartphones to accept contactless payments directly, without the need for a separate payment acceptance terminal.”

In addition to simplifying point-of-sale infrastructure, ease of use was rated as the most popular reason to consider using tap to phone by 50% of those surveyed, followed by saving time (44%) and eliminating the need to carry cash (43%). However, protecting financial information (54%) and personal information (52%) were named as the top concerns of using tap to phone.

Visa said tap to phone solutions bring multiple layers of security for both the buyer and seller. Each solution undergoes an intensive certification process including a security assessment by an accredited expert security lab. These solutions are also supported by an industry standard developed and published by the PCI Security Standards Council.

“Our research highlights speed and convenience as key priorities, and we see tap to phone as a new option for sellers, of all sizes, to meet this demand, particularly in emerging areas such as payment on delivery for food orders and items purchased through e-commerce,” Potter added.

-story ends-