In recent months, we’ve seen an unprecedented increase in demand for two-factor authentication (2FA) requirements, driven primarily by a growth in online purchasing. The world of contactless payments is white hot right now. It goes well beyond just payments though: contactless as a whole has moved forward in huge leaps and bounds. It simply has had to, no option. 

Many businesses and organizations with brick and mortar premises are only now starting to be able to reopen. Prior to this they had to transform themselves within a matter of weeks to meet the digital challenges of the ‘new’ normal. Anything that can be done to promote as rapid a bounce back to previous business volumes as possible of course can and does need to be done. It runs deeper though. 

With organizations of all shapes and sizes within any particular industrial vertical subject to the same regulation and restarting at the exact same time, the ability to differentiate one’s offerings and service levels from the competition has been driven sharper into focus. A race is well and truly on and ‘contactless’ has become a truly marketable feature for businesses. 

Take the business of food. Eating is a universal requirement and no matter the restrictions imposed, we all have to source it. Every demographic has been forced overnight into the digital world but not everybody is (literally) equipped to deal with it, i.e. owns a device with permanent access to the internet. Businesses have therefore had to grab the ubiquitous mobile channel, the one which transects all demographics and for which no internet access or smartphone is required, with both hands. The channel which drives true engagement like no other channel when taken in isolation: SMS. 

Food delivery companies in particular have seen drastic growth in orders. Texting was already part of their client engagement landscape but use of it has grown further. 

Restaurants were impacted hugely with only a few able to switch to a food pick-up and delivery model rapidly. Those that have reopened their dining areas (primarily outdoors) are actively promoting ordering through a mobile device at the table and having text-based chats with servers for orders, updates, payments and more. 

Lockdowns had left millions of people in limbo, practically homeless. The real estate market, wholly reliant on physical contact and employing an army of sales and letting agents, ground to a crunching halt. Thankfully the industry is on the move again with viewings and even physical moves being arranged and guided remotely online or via text. 

The unprecedented amount of uninterrupted time at home many of us have experienced has meant excuses for avoiding DIY and reorganization in general ran out weeks ago! Clutter has been unearthed and demand for storage units for all of this is on the up. Again, SMS and apps provide excellent solutions for seamless engagement between providers and their customers.

With no facet of human life remaining untouched from the impact of this pandemic, every aspect of ordering any good (online or off) has now moved to be orchestrated via mobile engagement channels – from home furnishings to dry cleaning, medications, and more. The “contactless” process is working: place your order, get order and delivery updates via email and/or SMS, the delivery person makes the drop, texts when the item is left in the designated area (doorstop, mailroom, etc.).

Although, with time, restrictions and people’s latent fear of physical proximity with one another will continue to dissipate, a customer’s desire to be informed at every turn will remain. A new, higher benchmark of expectation engagement by clients has been set and there can be no way back from this. SMS is the great constant helping to drive contactless globally and it isn’t going anywhere. It just works.