Synchrony digital technology enables contactless payments

  • October 6, 2020
  • Steve Rogerson

Connecticut-based consumer financial services company Synchrony is deploying digital technology to help ensure a safe, seamless and socially distant experience for every stage of the payments process.

This includes applying for credit, completing the transaction, and paying a bill or servicing an account. Synchrony even has digital gifting technology for the holidays.

While the digital shopping transformation has been underway for several years, the pandemic has accelerated consumer demand to transact without touching cash, cards or keypads, also known as contactless commerce. In a recent study, the overall usage of contactless payments rose 150% since March 2019.

As businesses meet consumers’ digital needs in the Covid-19 era, Synchrony is increasing its digital capabilities for partners and their customers across all channels. Consumers can apply for a credit card on their own device in store, at home or anywhere, add a new credit card into their digital wallet, transact with contactless cards, and make monthly card payments.

As a result of the company’s investments in technology capabilities and customer friendly tools, an estimated 70 per cent of its credit applications in the second quarter were completed digitally. Approximately 80% of Synchrony’s total bill payment transactions are processed electronically through digital channels and by phone.

“The pandemic made touchless shopping a necessity, and now that consumers are more familiar with contactless commerce, there’s no sign they’ll stop,” said Carol Juel, executive vice president at Synchrony. “Synchrony is well positioned to help our partners meet this moment of rapid change.”

Synchrony’s latest contactless offering is called Direct to Device, a patent pending technology that provides a contactless experience for shoppers using their own smartphones. The technology enables a transfer of data between the business and users’ mobile devices in-store. For example, if someone shops in-store and wants to open a line of credit, the business can send the application to the user’s mobile device through email or QR code.

The user then uses Synchrony’s patent-pending dApply technology to apply for credit safely and securely. DApply allows the customer to authenticate themselves and have their application prefilled with basic information such as their name, address and phone number, just by entering the last four digits of their social security number. This leaves only a few fields left to complete, reducing the overall time and effort.

Credit decision-making takes seconds, in partnership with mobile authentication technology from Prove. The data and information are entered by the user and, if approved for credit, the card can be provisioned and added into the wallet for immediate use.

Direct to Device technology was brought to market when Verizon and Synchrony launched the first Verizon co-brand credit card earlier this summer. Synchrony is working with its partners to scale this innovation across industries.

“Direct to Device is an exciting new tool and just the latest example of how Synchrony is laser-focused on digital solutions to enable the contactless, frictionless experiences consumers demand,” said Brad Burke, senior vice president at Synchrony. “We continue to innovate simple, time-savings for consumers all along the customer journey, whether they are applying for credit, making a purchase or servicing their card.”

Through a combination of smart investments and agile methodology, Synchrony has steadily built a payments technology arsenal that provides partners with contactless options. From applying for credit, which also includes technologies such as dApply and Quickscreen, to shopping with SyPI, to paying, which can be done with QR codes Synchrony creates for its partners, consumers can look forward to a suite of contactless options whether shopping online or in-store.