There is a lot of information being thrown at U.S. business owners and operators right now. Despite the amazing efforts of these groups to quickly adapt so they can continue to serve their communities and customers in the wake of this pandemic, there is more to be done.
When COVID-19 was first discovered in the United States, some essential businesses continued semi-normal operations and implemented ways to reduce the spread of germs, others were able to pivot business operations to meet social distancing practices by opting for curbside and tele-servicing, but, unfortunately, many had no choice but to close their doors and wait until local, state or federal governments gave the okay to resume business.
Today, we’re seeing an increasing number of U.S. communities start to open up; however, “business as usual” is not going to resume overnight. There are a plethora of rules that businesses must follow in order to reopen, one of which is often overlooked: contactless payment rules. These simple guidelines are critical to ensuring the health of your employees and customers alike.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of reliable sources around contactless payment rules, state-by-state, so you can easily identify if your business is located in an area where contactless payment rules have been published or implemented.
Does My State Have Contactless Payment Rules for Reopening?
Before we dive in, a few things to note:
- Some states have state-wide requirements, while others have left it to individual counties to issue guidelines or rules.
- Some mandate a contactless payment rule, while others simply recommend it.
- Our list of guidelines is updated daily however, your state and local reporting will always have the most up-to-date requirements.
- If your state or county is not included below, it means we do not have documentation for updated payment mandates in your area. Please comment below if you have information about your local area that we could use to update or improve this article.
- A state-wide guidance document recommends "If possible, use touchless payment (pay without touching money, a card, or a keypad)."
- Santa Clara county, Santa Barbara county, Contra Costa county, Marin county, San Mateo county, Sacramento county, Sonoma county, Lake county, Ventura county, Monterey county, Napa county, San Joaquin county and Alameda county all mandate businesses must "provide evidence of [their] implementation to any authority enforcing this Order upon demand," and includes "Providing for contactless payment systems ... ."
- Los Angeles county, San Diego county, Mendocino county and Placer county all issued a social distancing protocol with measures for businesses to implement. Appendix E in the Los Angeles protocol and the San Diego protocol lists measures to prevent unnecessary contact and includes "Providing for contactless payment systems ... ." The same language can be found under Appendix A for both Placer county and Mendocino county.
- Solano county states "Essential businesses and agencies providing direct service to the public must also provide contactless payment systems ... " in its social distancing guidance.
- A state-wide public health order issued on May 28, 2020 titled "Fourth Amendment Public Health Order 20-28" states "... provide contactless payment options in the field whenever possible;"
- The Arapahoe, Adams, and Douglas Counties have issued specific guidelines advising businesses to "Provide contactless payment systems."
- The Governor issued guidelines to merchants to " ... implement some changes to the payment process to reduce consumer interaction with equipment."
- An executive order by the governor notes "The use of technology solutions to minimize person-to-person contact is encouraged, including ... contactless payment options."
- The Department of Public Safety director issued guidance explicitly stating that businesses " ... must adopt COVID-19 risk mitigation policies, including whenever possible adopting contactless payment systems ... ."
- The state department of health encourages the "use touchless payment options."
- Standards for all industries advise businesses to "Provide for contactless payment systems ..." for employee and customer safety and trust.
- The state health authority issued guidance to employers including to "Consider touchless payment method[s]."
- The Tennessee pledge document recommends businesses to "Utilize cashless or contactless payment methods where possible."
- In the governors report to open Texas, it states "Contactless payment is encouraged. Where not available, contact should be minimized."
- The state's phased guidelines for the general public and businesses encourages the use of "contactless and non-signature payment[s]" whenever possible.
Perhaps your state hasn't yet published official contactless payment rules or guidance, and while it's easy to continue business as usual, it's important to consider what payments will look like in the future and whether your business is prepared for it. Remember the shift to EMV-chip cards in 2015? Some businesses are still not able to properly process these, and are feeling the repercussions on top of what is happening now due to COVID-19. Ensure your business is prepared for the future and is set up in all operational facets to keep staff and customers safe.
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Is your business ready to meet new contactless payment requirements? Do you know of updated payment mandates in your area that we have not included here? Comment below to join the conversation!