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Rethinking Payments for a New Normal

How we're helping our sellers take contactless payments so they can go about their business safely and efficiently.

The way our sellers get paid is changing. The Ecommerce design team worked with our sellers over the last few months to reimagine what payments will look like in a world where contactless interactions are the norm.

As sellers started to safely reopen their businesses, we brainstormed ways to help. It was important to us and to our sellers that we create efficiency and prioritize safety without compromising the experience of dining in person.

Sellers have been forced to spend more time cleaning and less time interacting with their customers.

How could we design a contactless solution that creates operational efficiencies while still feeling human?

We introduced a buyer experience where customers scan a QR code directly from their own devices to order and pay. We designed cards for storefronts and tables that are easy for any customer to use. Clear UX copy and thorough user testing were crucial to this process.

In the typical buyer experience of a digital menu, sellers can add imagery to banners, along with their business address and hours. A more tailored, self-serve ordering experience means fewer extraneous links, banners, and navigation. The result? Buyers remained more focused on the menu experience.

We also added an introduction to the top of the digital menu to supplement station card instructions. By reiterating what happens when scanning the QR code, we helped buyers feel comfortable and confident in their actions. This removed the need for seller explanation.

Once buyers add items to their order and check out, we continue to anticipate questions and provide them with an anchor — a small banner that describes where they’ll be sitting and how they’ll receive their food.

Others needed a simpler solution. With Square Point of Sale, sellers can now create a QR code for customers to scan with the camera on their smartphone.

This takes them to an online checkout form with a preconfigured cart. This is perfect for pop-up shops, farmers markets, and other places where a point of sale may not be easily accessible.

Other sellers may need a more flexible QR code solution for multiple items or goods. With Square Online Checkout, sellers create a link to receive a payment and share a QR code that leads to that link. This QR code can be printed or shared online.

Sellers need contactless solutions, but we’re aware of the long-term implications for buyer behavior.

We built quickly while weighing the consequences of our design decisions. We’re excited about the adoption of the existing solutions, and are confident about the future of these products and their ability to help our sellers.

As part of the new product launch, our brand team created new marketing sites and led photo shoots that demonstrated how our sellers are responding to the pandemic. By showing how our products can be used to facilitate a safer transaction, we communicate the efforts we are taking and put the buyer at ease.

We’re seeing thousands of businesses begin to use self-serve ordering and Pay With QR Code. By staying open to change and listening to the needs of our sellers, we’re confident we will continue to uncover and create new ways to better serve small businesses everywhere.