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Staying Contactless In The Era of Social Distancing

As we settle into a socially distanced society, contactless is becoming the de-facto means of payment and delivery as recommended by the World Health Organization.1 COVID-19 has only existed for months, but the average $20 circulates for eight years. The average $100 bill? 15 years. That’s a lot of hands. In China, the government dealt with the risk of viral currency spread by deep cleaning cash with ultraviolet light at high temperatures. In South Korea, the central bank took its paper currency out of circulation for two weeks, and in some cases, even destroyed it to prevent further spread of the virus. Not to mention, credit cards, touchscreen terminals and signatures pose similar risks. Luckily, true contactless technology allows consumers to safely checkout on their own devices from a safe distance of up to 10 feet, well above the six-foot social distancing guidelines put forth by the CDC.

Mobile payment adoption is expected to reach the majority of the consumer population this year. Despite the mass proliferation of NFC payment systems like Apple, Samsung and Google Pay, the majority of consumers prefer to use a retailer’s own app over those virtual wallets. Not to mention, these technologies require an unsafe distance of centimeters between a consumer and a terminal, rather than feet. By owning the checkout experience, businesses gather a treasure trove of data that can enable everything from loyalty rewards programs to predictive analytics on future purchases. However, leading retailers like Starbucks, Target, and Walmart have integrated legacy QR code technology into their apps which requires a similar range to NFC. Not so conducive for social distancing. 

LISNR’s SDKs are a drop-in contactless authentication or payment solution that can integrate with any mobile device or POS system across a range of identity, loyalty, and payment applications. Merchants can now mimic an NFC-like transaction over a distance up to 10 feet for any merchant who needs to authenticate reciept of services or goods ranging from ridesharing to pick-up and delivery.

In a recent study, 65% of consumers surveyed said they would switch retailers if they didn’t offer curbside pickup or same-day delivery.2 A In the past weeks, these have become essential, rather than nice-to-have. Over the past year, BOPIS (buy online, pickup in store) has become increasingly popular with consumers as retailers like Walmart, Target, and Albertsons have ramped up their curbside pickup locations last year by the thousands. Instacart, which partners with many large and small grocers, increased its availability of these locations by 6x. LISNR SDK is able to seamlessly bridge this gap between online purchase and offline presence by using its patented data-over-audio technology that’s the only secure, device agnostic, reliable wireless authentication solution.

As restaurants have shifted overnight to a 100% off-premise delivery and takeout model, curbside pickup and contactless delivery have become the norm as Postmates lead the charge two weeks ago. There have also been a handful of recent reports of individuals posing as delivery couriers at restaurants attempting to steal delivery orders from paying customers. Just as it can help streamline curbside pickup, Lisnr can help authenticate drivers and their designated orders when they arrive at a pickup location.

As we transition to a society where everything is consumed off premises, it’s never been clearer that our new world demands us to creatively redesign retail experiences from the ground up. In order for retail to survive, it must be optimized to ensure that customers can shop, pick up or receive delivered goods in a safe, frictionless, and convenient manner. Whether your business is looking for contactless payment, loyalty, or authentication, LISNR’s proximity-based SDKs can help ensure the security and most importantly, the health of your customers.

 

1 https://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerhuang/2020/03/09/who-encourages-use-of-digital-payments-due-to-covid-19/#3b6014de41eb

2 https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/online-order-fulfillment-grocery-charts-survey-fabric/571811/