Covid-19 has impacted all our lives in various ways, which would leave a broader impact for a long time to come. We have seen considerable changes in terms of consumer behavior. One of the significant impacts that Covid -19 has had is the broader usage of digital payment methods as concerns for hygiene have increased among customers, Govt. Organizations and RBI have advised everyone to use digital payment methods to reduce a person to person contact.
Let us explore the six best digital modes that you should consider during the CoVid-19 pandemic –
1. QR Code
QR code payment has gained popularity because it is easily accessible and highly convenient. One must only scan a QR Code to pay for fuel, grocery, food, etc. You only require to scan either through paper or a screen. QR code payment also guarantees foolproof security. Merchant can generate a QR Code through a POS system, which the customer can then scan for scan pay; it will automatically input the bill amount. Scope of error is reduced significantly when making a payment through QR code.
United Payments Interface(UPI) is an instant payment system developed by India’s National Payments Corporation (NPCI). A customer can request a UPI payment mode; then, the merchants select the UPI payment option from his/her POS system. UPI payment method is also gaining popularity, which is reflected by data released by NPCI in 2019, which showed that around 1.3 billion transactions were carried out using UPI in December 2019 alone.
3. Payment Gateway
In the ongoing pandemic, we have seen a tremendous surge in the overall sales of goods through e-commerce websites. Payment Gateways are generally used by E-commerce websites in which all the essential details, like credit card numbers, are entered in an E – terminal. It ensures that all the sensitive information entered by the user is kept secure.
4. Contactless Payment
POS machine online offer a Near Field Communication (NFC) these days; using this feature, customers can make a payment through their credit or debit cards by tapping it onto the POS machine. Tap and Pay have gained popularity in this pandemic as it guarantees minimum contact.
5. SMS Based Payment
This payment method is predominantly used by customers of restaurants and salons where an advance payment is made for reservations or booking. A merchant can use a POS machine online to send a text message to the customer’s mobile number, which has an online link which the customer can use to make the payment. It also ensures no contact between the consumer and the merchant, which helps maintain social distancing in the pandemic6.
6. Prepaid Cards
These unique cards are only redeemable at limited outlets. Mostly they are only redeemable on the merchant’s outlet that issues them. It can contain a discount or a certain redeemable amount. It has a Scan Pay feature, which users can use by tapping or swiping their prepaid cards on POS terminals. This form of digital payments also restricts contact, thus making it an efficient mode of payment in times of the pandemic.
We should all strive to break the transmission of the CoronaVirus. We can ensure this by maintaining social distancing and wearing masks. We should promote digital payment modes as they ensure minimum contact between the vendor and consumer.