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How many times have we found ourselves in a situation when we want to buy a new perfume, but we can spend only 15 minutes on the act of shopping because we have other scheduled commitments? What do we, as customers, expect from sellers in these situations? Definitely, we expect them to devote themselves completely to us in that short time, advise us which perfume to buy, pay in the way that suits us best at that moment and, if possible, make the payment on the shop floor itself without waiting in line. We have to admit that these are not easy situations for sellers because they have 10 other customers like us in a store who don’t have time and expect their full attention. Thanks to technology such as NFC (Near Field Communication) and payment functionality such as „tap to phone“, sellers today can easily handle these situations because their mobile phone is now a contactless POS terminal that can accept payments from customers anywhere. They can solve the mentioned problems with just a few sentences: „No cash? No problem. We accept all payment options, even payments by mobile phones and smart watches. And, don’t worry about your time because we can make the payment anywhere in the store. So, let me show you what we have in our store.“  What can we conclude from this situation? As a customer, we are satisfied because we made the best possible purchase in the shortest possible time, and the seller got another satisfied customer and more time for other customers.

Nowadays, it’s extremely important to have in our minds that times are changing, new techologies are emerging, and customers are becoming more and more demanding. Companies that don’t keep up with new trends and technologies will lose in the market race, or to put it simply, they will become “dinosaurs“ in the market. This is especially true for the retail industry, which is always at the forefront of new technologies. Now, more than ever before, making it easier for customers to purchase from you by letting them pay the way they want and where they want, is important for any retailer. According to Visa research, nearly half (48%) of consumers wouldn’t shop at a store that only offers payment methods that require contact with a cashier or a shared machine, like a card reader.

In this blog, we’re going to demystify what tap on phone is and what benefits it brings to customers and retailers:

  1. What is tap on phone?
  2. How does tap on phone work in the retail industry?
  3. Is tap on phone safe?
  4. Is it easy to integrate with POS systems?
  5. Six reasons why Softpay is awesome

1. What is tap on phone? Another buzzword or a better way to get paid

For all those who are interested in new payment technologies, this is an exciting era to live in. As the name itself says, tap on phone turns a retailer’s smartphone or tablet into a contactless point of sale (POS) terminal that can accept payments from customers’ contactless cards or mobile wallets anywhere, anytime. This new payment solution moves away from traditional card machines by turning your smartphone into a card reader. The only prerequisite for this payment solution is that both, payment device and receiving device, have Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled. With just one mobile device, seller is now ready to serve the customers on the shop floor, at the table in the restaurant, at the ride in the amusement park, or when delivering a package to the customer. The benefits are endless, both for the sellers and the customers.

MasterCard research on emerging trends in grocery stores and pharmacies found that contactless transactions grew twice as fast as the number of non-contactless transactions globally in grocery stores and pharmacies. All of this tells us how important it is for retailers to provide this payment option in their stores in order to have a satisfied customer who always returns.

Also, tap on phone will support countries that are moving to a cashless society. For example, Danish regulators will require certain types of businesses to start using digital cash registers to manage their businesses by 2024.

2. How does tap on phone work in the retail industry? All for a better customer experience

Surely, all of this sounds really interesting to you, but you are probably also curious how this works in practice. The steps are quick and simple:

  • The seller needs to enter the purchase amount in the tap on phone app.
  • The customer then taps their contactless card or a wearable device (mobile phone or smart watch) against the seller’s mobile device. If the transaction is over 50 euros the customer will be asked to enter his PIN.
  • When the purchase is completed, the seller sends a digital receipt to the customer via email.

When customers are buying items with a high price or those that require advice and guidance such as health, beauty, clothing, electronics, toys, sporting goods, a tap on phone is the perfect choice as it allows sellers to have time to give advice and receive payments on the shop floor. Also, the act of shopping can be done anywhere in the store, customers avoid long queues and sellers now have more time to devote to customers.

Furthermore, the seller doesn’t need expensive or additional hardware to complete a transaction because now they have everything they need on their mobile phone or tablet.

3. Is it safe? Safety and peace of mind in the first place

When new digital products appear on the market, there is usually a feeling of fear to try them out. This especially applies to digital products that are related to any type of digital payment. The main concerns are related to data security and privacy.

Softpay, whose tap on phone solution is successfully integrated with our POS system (NP Retail), approached this challenge in the following way:

Complient with the latest standards: 

The solution is designed and updated according to the current standards and guidelines from EMV (EMV is short for Europay, MasterCard and Visa) and PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).

Attestation system:

A key component in Softpay is the attestation system, which verifies device and application integrity and improves the security of the solution. Attestation is based on a set of key requirements.

Independently certified:

Consumer’s card and PIN data are handled separately and never stored on the device. The back end is designed according to the PCI DSS standards, and the solution is certified by an independent laboratory. Additionally, when setting up a new device, Softpay runs attestation to ensure the integrity and security of the device and its usage.

Depending on the country or bank, there are limits that can be spent using contactless payments, which means that payments over a certain limit require the use of a PIN. For low value payments which are below the limit (for example, in Denmark the limit is 350 DKK, in Europe typical limit is 50 EUR), the payments can be completed without a PIN. For high value payments, it is necessary to enter a PIN.

There are certain exceptions:

  • If customers tap with a device (smart watch or mobile phone), they never enter a PIN as the PIN/signature is provided by the device as the part of a transaction. This is why in stores or supermarkets you sometimes get the request to unlock your phone via face or fingerprint, and this then validates that it’s you.
  • Sometimes the payment network will ask for a PIN even if they are making a low value transaction. This is typically done if they have made a lot of low value payments in a period, without a high value one (and therefore haven’t entered a PIN), and as a security feature to validate and limit fraud.

4. Is it easy to integrate with POS systems? Any Android device can be a payment terminal

According to the words of our partner Softpay, the best way to integrate this payment solution with existing POS solutions is the way that the client chooses.

The Softpay solution is a completely flexible solution that integrates very easily with our NP Retail solution (POS solution) by using the simple API and app-switch functionality. Therefore, it is possible to have a POS solution, cashier system and Softpay payment solution on the same device, whether it is a mobile phone, tablet or a hardware device.

Also, the Softpay solution works on Android 8 and above, does not require additional dedicated hardware, and easily integrates with existing applications.

5. Six reasons why Softpay is awesome: The possibilities are endless

There are a number of benefits provided by the Softpay solution, and these are some key benefits:

Take payments anywhere:

Any Android device with NFC can be your payment terminal. Softpay accepts Visa, Mastercard and Dankort along with Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay. More options are coming soon;

Fast transaction flow:

Softpay has the fastest transaction flow in the industry, being ready to tap a card in less than a second and processing in less than two;

PIN pad as you know it:

The customers are always secure with our certified and integrated PIN pad module. With Softpay, the numbers are not moved around or scrambled, which can confuse the consumers;

Easy to integrate:

Through the App Switch API, Softpay is seamlessly integrated into your existing solutions: loyalty programs, running discounts and other payment systems;

Multiple stores and terminals:

From single store and one terminal to multi-chain stores with different brands. Softpay supports a broad range of out-of-the-box configurations at different levels. You can experience true mobile terminals, by taking your phone to another store and running it  there with a single click.


Consumer’s card and PIN data are handled separately and are never stored on the device. The back end is designed according to PCI DSS standards, and the solution is certified by an independent laboratory.

Here are a few other benefits offered by this cloud-based solution: issuing a receipt via email, supporting different currencies and languages, reporting at the end of the day, possibility of payment cancellation and refund, etc.

Don’t let the wrong technology ruin the experience of your customers

Surely, there are many reasons why you should introduce tap on phone in your business. Would you like to know more about tap to phone? Don’t waste your time, contact our colleagues today and they will give you all the information you need.

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