The retail sector is ever changing and developing new ways to ensure that businesses can drive profits up, whilst maintaining the highest levels of customer service. Technology has increasingly become a key component of the retail environment, and one way in which this has evolved is through the introduction of contactless payment systems at the POS.

Some benefits of the developments include “more comfort, more speed and increased security”, according to recent research by Paris-based electronic payment software specialist Ingenico.

Visa further highlighted the positive reception in the European market, with 211 million contactless payments accounted for from August 2012 to July 2013 across the continent. A key factor for the continual roll-out of this new method of payment is the speed – shorter queuing times are likely to drive overall in-store customer footfall up.

The higher transaction limit of $100 in comparison to the current amounts allowed in Europe is promising for the Australian market. With up to 70 per cent of card payments in supermarkets in the country now being contactless, according to a white paper from The Logic Group, the technology’s ongoing adoption by consumers in the southern hemisphere is encouraging.

In light of these trends, there is still plenty of “fertile ground” for businesses to further expand into the contactless market, according to Deloitte UK research which praises the method for its time and money saving qualities for the corporate sector.

A 2006 report by the Smart Card Alliance found that safety was not a concern for as many consumers as previously thought. This may now be further aided by the increase of contactless cards in public transport systems around the world, growing consumer familiarity and recognition with the device.

As well as the direct benefits of speed and increased customer numbers, there are also potential longer term gains to be had. The storage of data and ability to capture information from the cards could create more personalised retail experiences for consumers – such as in furthering the engagement with brands and venues they are already regular patrons of, along with targeted approaches to consider new products and places to widen their usual choices.