“And what about touchless interfaces?”


As the COVID-19 pandemic moves into new phases, consumers are increasingly concerned about minimizing physical contact to reduce the risk of infection and are putting a high price on health factors when interacting with organizations. As a result, this Corona health and economic crisis is a major catalyst for the rising trend of touchless interfaces which have become integral to the customer experience.

In line with this new trend, the Capgemini Research Institute surveyed over 5,000 consumers and over 1000 executives from 12 major economies (Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States).  What are the key findings?

To start with, 77% of consumers expect to increase their use of touchless technologies to avoid interactions that require physical contact. Even when the pandemic is over, 62% expect to increase their use, of touchless technologies. Overall, 59% of consumers prefer using voice-based interfaces in public places such as shops, banks, government offices and other public places to avoid touch, and this preference will largely continue post the pandemic.

Mobile-based touchless transactions are gaining ground as consumers turn away from shared interfaces: 66% of consumers prefer to use mobile apps at physical locations such as stores and bank branches instead of touch-based alternatives and 62% would prefer to do so even after the pandemic subsides.

Privacy concerns still loom large and will regain precedence once the health emergency subsides. More consumers have been accepting of facial recognition in the current global scenario; 52% prefer facial recognition for authentication at retail stores, banks, airports, and offices during the current scenario. However, this falls to 39% in post-pandemic times.

Although the survey didn’t include Belgium, also in our country things are moving ahead. Recently the newspaper “De Tijd” reported that retail banker KBC and Limburg based bracelet manufacturer Gemini (no links with Capgemini !) are creating a wrist bracelet to pay contactless. KBC customers can already pay touchless via their bank card, smartphone or sports watch. Soon they will also be able to do that via a so called “smart bracelet”, for payments below 50€ without a pin code. That’s where fashion meets banking…

Kris Poté, vice president Capgemini, May 2020