Increased awareness of sanitation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is leading to innovation in contactless kit beyond payment methods. Such innovation can be seen in the Distance Selection Technology developed by the Azkoyen Group. The system allows consumers to select products from coffee machines or vending machines without making contact with the screen or touching any surfaces.

Distance selection would ensure that sanitary standards are kept to a high level without relying on continuous manual cleaning methods. Presto, a restaurant technology platform, has also developed a free contactless kit that allows consumers to use their mobile devices in order to safely view the menu and order, while maintaining minimal contact.

Covid-19 is accelerating the contactless environment

The technology is similar in principle to near field communication (NFC) card payments, which are used globally and are seen as a much safer alternative to traditional cash payments during the pandemic. GlobalData’s latest Covid-19 tracker survey reveals that 57% of respondents globally ‘agree’ or ‘strongly agree’ that they prefer to pay for products with credit cards instead of cash. This supports that consumers, whether because of convenience or sanitation, would rather use a card than to handle currency. Contactless payments have also been augmented in countries like the UK, which raised its spending limit in order to accommodate consumer habits better.

Foodservice delivery has also seen the adoption of contactless services, whereby delivery drivers leave food near the house rather than handing it to a person directly. While consumers going to the shop and practicing social distancing may be feasible, restaurants that can’t offer a viable delivery service will face difficulties unless contactless systems are introduced as much as possible in order to reduce the risks.

In the long term, the continued uptake of contactless payments, which was already seeing swift increases, will likely be accelerated due to the health concerns brought about by the virus.

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