The pandemic hasn’t left any business or industry untouched.
Faced with the option of adapting to the rapid change or shutting down shop, businesses across the globe are switching to new technologies and digital tools to continue trade. At the top of this digital transformation checklist for most is a prioritised shift to no-touch or contactless payments.
According to a report on Global Online Payment Methods 2020 and the Impact of Covid-19, nearly 50% of customers worldwide are using digital payments more than before the pandemic.
Moreover, with the World Health Organisation (WHO) issuing warnings about banknotes being potential carriers of the virus and encouraging card payments or digital alternatives, even the small segment who have been reluctant to move away from cash have been shifting to online payments and contactless options.
People are making a conscious choice to avoid handling cash, pens and keypads. And for businesses that seek to protect consumer and employee health, there is a general preference for contactless and online payments to avoid the sanitisation routine after debit or credit card transactions.
Accessible technology for childcare businesses
With multiple priorities to juggle amid the pandemic, businesses are opting for technology and payment solutions that are easy to adopt and customisable for their companies – which many traditional banks are struggling to meet. However, the entry of independent fintech companies has become a game-changer in the current situation.
Many banks and software companies are now collaborating with fintech providers and offering better technology, quicker payment processing and fewer hoops to jump – especially for small and medium businesses.
The childcare sector, which has been lagging in technology adoption has also benefitted immensely with childcare software services joining hands with fintech providers. These companies are now offering a range of services including customised direct debit solutions, payment gateways and comprehensive administrative solutions tailored for the childcare industry.
Rather than hop between separate platforms for billing, daily admin and payment collection, childcare businesses now have reliable alternatives to drive their core administrative activities using a single product.
As the market gets more competitive, companies are also upping their game with better software interfaces, customisable applications and affordable packages – opening up a wider range of choices for childcare businesses.
Change in consumer behaviour
With the pandemic shaking up the way we all operate, it won’t be an exaggeration to say, every business that survives the pandemic will have done a significant overhaul to their business model.
The lockdown and restrictions have changed consumer behaviour for good. A majority of the people who have moved to the comforts of online shopping and digital transactions will prefer to continue the route, steering a more widespread preference for no-touch payments. People who have remained resistant to change might come also out of the pandemic with a renewed outlook and a euphoria from having experienced the convenience technology offers.
Moreover, Generation Z – the young adults and children of today – are also predicted to play a significant role in shaping the future of payments. Born and raised in a mobile-first world, this generation will have little or no recollection of the world as it existed before smartphones.
The digital-savvy generation seeks a higher level of personalisation, better quality and greater performance from businesses. Any business or brand that aims to woo them will have to cater to their digital and flexible payment preferences.
Although it might be a good few years before Gen-Z forms a sizeable portion of the client base for childcare businesses, the current wave of change is influencing the older generations as well, who seek convenience and flexibility from the businesses they interact with.