Why You Should Adopt Contactless Solutions | OCBC Business Banking SG
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Getting A Handle On Contactless Customer Experiences

Getting A Handle On Contactless Customer Experiences

  • 06 September 2020
  • By OCBC Business Banking
  • 10 mins read

From retail stores to restaurants, businesses in Singapore are glad to welcome back customers onto their premises with the lifting of some of the Circuit Breaker measures. While this is great news, how can these businesses, especially local SMEs, offer safe experiences and environments to both customers as well as their employees especially since concerns over COVID-19 are still widespread?

Open for business unusual

For enterprises that had to restrict or stop their operations at the start of the Circuit Breaker, the move to Phase 2 has been a long awaited development as more businesses across sectors are able to open their physical stores and shops again to the delight of their customers.

While members of the public have been glad to take this opportunity to be out and about once more and gain some normalcy back in their lives – such as by visiting popular malls and shops, or catching up with family, friends or business associates at their favourite eateries – the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has beyond a doubt affected the mindsets and behaviours of consumers. From a health and safety viewpoint, consumers are now putting a high price on these factors when interacting with organisations, whether it is a BBQ restaurant or at a bank branch.

Indeed, customers are more concerned about reducing their risk of infection and would prefer to frequent establishments that take more robust and rigorous steps to minimize physical contact, maximize contactless interactions, and amplifies its communication that it is going beyond the extra mile to safeguard the well-being of its consumers. According to Datassential, a food and beverage industry analytics company, 76 percent of consumers interviewed said “a restaurant’s cleanliness and food safety will matter more to me after COVID-19.”

As such, what digital technologies, practices, and solutions can local SMEs adopt and be inspired by to cater to the new normal, where more and more people moving forward – even beyond the COVID-19 pandemic, will increasingly demand and expect a contact-free, no-touch world?

Growing appetite for contactless technologies

To protect staff and customers by creating safer and minimal two-way interactions, local F&B businesses could adopt contactless dining kits. Such kits allow guests to use their mobile devices to scan QR codes at dining outlets to get on the virtual waitlist or book a reservation, view the digital menu, place orders online and even pay with their smartphone or through a contactless card payment terminal at the table thereby keeping interactions and physical contact with staff to a minimum.

Companies locally that are already using such solutions include Swensen’s and the ilLido group of Italian restaurants. Beyond safer dining experiences, the use of contactless technology has also resulted in greater operational efficiencies and cost savings as these restaurants do not need to print physical menus anymore while staff are also able to more thoroughly clean or speed up table cleaning times as they do not need to disinfect and wipe menus or customer’s credit cards.

Other advantages of such contactless dining kits is that in addition to being relatively easy to implement, such QR code technology is also widely adopted by consumers in Singapore especially since many are already using it through the SafeEntry system for check-ins. For those interested to try this out for their business, Presto, has created a contactless dining kit which F&B establishments of all sizes from around the world can sign up for free during this pandemic period.

A faster, safer, and easier way to collect payments

Cash payment habits have been changing in recent years and the move towards going cashless has accelerated with more consumers opting for contactless transactions during COVID-19. According to a recent Mastercard survey, 82% of respondents worldwide now view contactless as the cleaner way to pay, and 74% state that they will continue to use contactless payment technology even after the pandemic.

Source: Mastercard

As such, this represents a clear sign for businesses in Singapore to adopt such contactless payment options not only from a hygiene perspective but also from a business convenience viewpoint. SMEs in Singapore have a variety of options to choose from as consumers have a myriad of alternatives available to them from contactless debit or credit cards, to smartphone based banking such as virtual cards and wallets, mobile banking apps and peer-to-peer payment systems.

One such contactless payment option that all businesses here, regardless of the industry that they are in can consider is PayNow Corporate, which is implementing a fee waiver till 31 December 2022. Businesses can pay suppliers and staff using PayNow Corporate by using the UEN or registered mobile numbers while also receiving payments safely and instantly from customers who can access their PayNow through any one of the major banks in Singapore mobile banking apps. SME business owners will also be glad to know that there is no need to go through the hassle of collecting bank account details and they can even receive faster government payouts for the Jobs Support Scheme and Wage Credit Scheme too.

Time to tuck into digital technology

Even though the pandemic continues to hit hard at lives and livelihoods, Singapore’s SMEs can have some respite and comfort in the knowledge that help is at hand. To encourage SMEs to adopt digital technologies in general and the contactless solutions that have been mentioned in this article, local SMEs can look to the Digital Resilience Bonus.

This grant provides for up to $10,000 to help SMEs, especially those that are in the food and beverage industry to update their technology and improve efficiency in a range of capabilities that include cashless transactions, accounting and payroll solutions, inventory management, analytics, e-commerce and digital ordering for dining-in and takeaway meals.

With COVID-19, the responsibility of providing a safe and stress-free experience for customers and staff falls on businesses but with a little effort and planning in adopting some of these contactless technologies coupled with the vast amounts of experience and entrepreneurial spirit that local SMEs possess, then it is an encouraging outlook that the local business community will be able to move forward and meet the challenges head on.

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You may be directed to third party websites. OCBC Bank shall not be liable for any losses suffered or incurred by any party for accessing such third party websites or in relation to any product and/or services provided by any provider under such third party websites.

The information provided herein is intended for general circulation and/or discussion purposes only. Before making any decision, please seek independent advice from professional advisors. No representation or warranty whatsoever in respect of any information provided herein is given by OCBC Bank and it should not be relied upon as such. OCBC Bank does not undertake any obligation to update the information or to correct any inaccuracy that may become apparent at a later time. All information presented is subject to change without notice. OCBC Bank shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising directly or indirectly howsoever in connection with or as a result of any person acting on any information provided herein. Any reference to any specific company, financial product or asset class in whatever way is used for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation on the same.

Disclaimer

You may be directed to third party websites. OCBC Bank shall not be liable for any losses suffered or incurred by any party for accessing such third party websites or in relation to any product and/or services provided by any provider under such third party websites.

The information provided herein is intended for general circulation and/or discussion purposes only. Before making any decision, please seek independent advice from professional advisors. No representation or warranty whatsoever in respect of any information provided herein is given by OCBC Bank and it should not be relied upon as such. OCBC Bank does not undertake any obligation to update the information or to correct any inaccuracy that may become apparent at a later time. All information presented is subject to change without notice. OCBC Bank shall not be responsible or liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising directly or indirectly howsoever in connection with or as a result of any person acting on any information provided herein. Any reference to any specific company, financial product or asset class in whatever way is used for illustrative purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation on the same.