During the COVID-19 pandemic, companies around the world have been forced to rethink how we interact with high-touch areas, especially technology. To mitigate risk in the workplace, security technology is advancing quickly to create solutions that are safe for everyone as we continue to adapt to the impacts of the virus.
1. Touchless payment methods
After organizations like the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) discouraged the use of cash at the beginning of the pandemic outbreak, many organizations began looking for alternative methods of payment. Touchless or contactless payments is one of the fastest-growing payment methods in the United States since COVID-19.
Visa reports that there was a 150% increase in contactless payment usage between March 2019 and March 2020. A MasterCard survey shows that 46% of people shifted their most-used cards to contactless pay options. The majority of their survey participants, 82%, view contactless payment as a cleaner and safer way to pay. With a focus on safety, touchless payments get customers out of line 10 times faster than other payment methods. Reducing customers’ time in stores means minimizing the risk of exposure or sickness.
Walmart introduced contactless payment methods for customers after an increase in demand for touch-free options. PayPal also launched a QR code-based contact method that allows users to add their PayPal card to a digital wallet or scan a QR code linked to a business. This allows customers to send payment without paper bills or touching a PIN pad that hundreds of other people have come into contact with over the day.
Some people continue to use and carry their bank cards, but as technology advances, many bank cards have a tap function. This allows customers to simply hover over or touch the card on the PIN pad. This option is more accessible for individuals who prefer to avoid data usage on their smartphones and enjoy the security of carrying their cards with them.
2. Touchless time clocks
Several companies have been recognized for touchless time clocks and other technological advancements in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Touchless time entry allows employees to clock in and out using a uniquely generated QR code in an accompanying app. It facilitates accurate payroll and ensures compliance with organizational attendance policies. The touchless time clock also helps manage the schedule, review punch history, and easily submit time-off requests. This technology protects employees by eliminating a high-touch surface and reduces the spread of germs.
This technology may utilize thermal-sensing technology to help employers manage who is in the building and when. The thermal sensing allows for contactless temperature checks that don’t require another employee to be within 6 feet. These technologies make significant strides not only in the employee experience but also in the degree of safety for everyone in the workplace.
Prioritizing efficiency and safety has become increasingly important among all employers.
Technological advancements such as touchless time clocks and thermal sensors allow employees to stay safe as they continue to work through the pandemic. These types of advancements also protect them from illnesses besides COVID-19, which could lead to further refinement and adoption as we eradicate the virus.
3. Touchless entry
As tech companies continue to find opportunities for safety in public spaces, touchless entry becomes increasingly popular. While physical keys and keycards require employees and workers by making contact with a high-touch area, touchless access systems allow secure entry into a building with biometric information or using a mobile device. Not only does this increase the security of the area, but also allows individuals to stay safe as they head to work.
These systems are cloud-managed, which means they can be operated remotely. If necessary, you can grant someone access, change the permissions of individuals, or set and change schedules for individuals in your system. This reduces face-to-face interactions, which increases the safety of employers and workers. These systems also have integrated voice or video intercom opportunities, which allow you to communicate with people outside from anywhere. As more companies and organizations integrate touchless entry systems, keys will likely be phased out.
Read More: How AI will help and change the remote work
Moving toward safer options
Technological advancements during the pandemic are here to stay–as more people appreciate the speed, accuracy, and safety these developments provide, touchless options become increasingly attractive. By reducing the number of high-touch surfaces, employers create safer environments for themselves and their workers. They also optimize customer experience by reducing the amount of time they need to spend in a store, as touchless payment options get them through the line quicker than alternative payment methods.
Biometric verification – especially contactless versions like face and iris scanning – will likely continue to develop due to their attractive features. Many believe the demand for developed security options involving biometric scanning will remain steady, even after the pandemic is under control.
Suggested Reading: How to ensure your remote staff is productive in today’s COVID-19 world