The Restaurant Owner's Guide To Contactless Payment Methods

Posted by Natalie Korz

Natalie is the Technical Writer for SpeedLine Solutions. Her adoration for pizza goes all the way back to the early days of her childhood when her family used to have Friday Pizza Nights and watch America's Funniest Home Videos.

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Contactless payments are becoming increasingly popular. Offering greater convenience, speed, and security functions, they eliminate the need for cash, physical card swipes, chip inserts, or checks. This article reviews the advantages, limitations, and best practices for using popular contactless payment methods.

What are Contactless Payments?

Contactless payment methods use near-field communication (NFC) technology to allow customers to purchase products by tapping the machine. Originally made popular through credit card “tapping” of the machine, now customers also can use their smartphone or another smart device, such as a smartwatch to pay in-store. Popular mobile payment apps include Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Benefits of Contactless Payments

Secure: Contactless technology contains the same fraud protection provided as credit and debit card transaction options.

Convenient and efficient: Contactless transactions are faster than their predecessors because customers do not need to enter their PIN, swipe a card, sign for their purchase, or count out the necessary change. With smart devices, they can pay without having their credit or debit card with them.

Affordable: Offers the same processing fees as standard credit card transactions.

Growing in popularity: Contactless payment methods popularity is increasing around the globe, with the US seeing an eight percent jump since the beginning of COVID. This technology is especially popular with younger generations, with research showing 61% of young millennials use a digital wallet.

Contactless Payment Limitations

Limited transaction amount: Many contactless payment systems have a spending limit of $100 or $200 to help reduce the extent of the theft. Although often the cardholder can edit this in their banking settings, it means that contactless payment methods work best for smaller transactions.

Additional technology requirements: Merchants must purchase the necessary equipment to accept contactless payments. However, it’s important to note that most POS terminals installed with the EMV migration already have the hardware needed to process contactless payments.

Less accepted by older generations: Studies indicate that baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1965) are the least likely to use a contactless payment method.

Best Practices

Clearly communicate contactless services: Think about how customers will know that you offer contactless payment options. Consider displaying the EMVCo contactless symbol near your checkout stations or on the terminals themselves.

Have your POS terminal instruct when and where to tap: This can be as simple as including a prompt on your terminal display screen to “Tap/Insert/Swipe.”

Speedy Tip
Although mobile wallet acceptance marks indicate that consumers can tap, many people don’t associate these symbols with contactless-enabled cards. That’s why it’s recommended to display the EMVCo symbol as a baseline to clearly communicate that all contactless methods are accepted.


Include clear payment confirmation messages: To avoid confusing your customers, be sure that your setup provides confirmation as to whether the transaction was approved or declined.

Familiarize your employees with contactless payment workflows: Provide cashiers with training on how to successfully execute contactless transactions, and make sure they know how to troubleshoot common mistakes or errors.


Contactless payments are quickly becoming a transaction method that every business should consider implementing (if they haven’t already). In addition to offering the same security features as traditional debit and credit cards, they’re praised for their speed and convenience by consumers and merchants alike. To learn more about the value of different payment methods, read Which Payment Methods Should Your Restaurant Accept?

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Posted on Wed, Feb 22, 2023 @ 08:02 AM.
Updated on February 22, 2023 @ 4:32 PM PST.

Tags: Credit Cards, Mobile Payments

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