Since its inception in the mid-1970s, point of sale software has become an essential tool for retailers. Numerous advancements have been made as technology has evolved and we have seen such developments as touch screen operation and warehouse integration capability. Contactless technology is the next leap forward and is becoming ever more common place in retail outlets. But how does it work and what are the benefits?

Understanding the practicalities

Contactless technology is a way of paying for items via an embedded Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chip on payment cards, in combination with the normal EMV chip. The new chips are able to communicate with point of sale software via a reader at the checkout, without the customer having to place the card into a card reader and enter the PIN number. For security reasons contactless technology can only be used on transactions that total less than £20 in value as recently announced by the UK Cards Association. Purchases that are above this threshold will still require the usual chip and PIN verification. From time-to-time you will be asked for security purposes to enter your card into the chip and PIN reader and enter your PIN; even for transactions lower than £20.

Benefits to business

The introduction of contactless technology can be beneficial to businesses that provide fast service on low value transactions in numerous ways. The most obvious benefit is that it increases the speed with which customers can make their purchase; which reduces waiting times and thus improves their customer’s shopping experience.

BCP leads the way

BCP were the first UK Retail software providers to introduce contactless technology into the convenience store sector. Our point of sale software (Accord® Momentum) offers the additional benefit of providing a full and secure audit trial of all payments made via card; therefore eliminating reconciliation issues.