Patrick Woodhead

Interested in Design, Mathematics, Cryptography. Contributing writer for Evening Standard, Hackernoon, The Startup. Founder of Pilcro

Is Your Brand Contactless?

Photo by Jonas Leupe on Unsplash

Not so many years ago, the act of simply paying for something used to take a long time. In a shop, on the tube, taking a bus, things weren’t as straightforward as simply putting your credit card onto a pad.

So where shall we jump in with the story of payments? The medieval days of leather purses full of gold coins seems a bit too far-fetched, so perhaps the cheque is a good place to start.

The Cheque

Until relatively recently, consumers were required to fill out a cheque payable to the shop from which they were purchasing. And since this process took time, consumers had to wait in queues to pay for items.

For the consumer, this was a slow process, but it was slow for the shop too. They couldn’t get through their customers quickly enough and so were unable to optimise how much money they made in a day.

What’s more, the cheques would often take many days to process into the shop’s bank account.


Next came the Swipe card. Suddenly the act of paying was much quicker. The consumer could simply swipe a bank card and then sign a receipt.

This was faster and there was no writing out cheques. For the vendors, this was advantageous too. They could get through the queues of people faster, offer a superior service, and ultimately put more money in the tills.

Chip and Pin

The Chip and Pin was perhaps more of a security advancement than a speed improvement. Nevertheless, the pin number definitely continued in the smoothing process of the transaction between the vendor and the consumer. Now all the consumer needed to do was bash in a four-digit pin code and they were away.

No pens involved.


Despite the Chip and Pin revolution, queues were still building in pubs and shops. Trying to buy a beer in popular bars could take half an hour at peak times. Consumers spent time queueing and vendors were still missing out on custom. Yet more time needed to be removed from the process of paying.

The answer came in contactless. This reduced the speed of each transaction from thirty seconds to about one second, and has completely revolutionised (again) the number of consumers a vendor can process and also the speed and customer experience for each consumer.

Contactless also allows a consumer to make many more purchases in a day, from tiny amounts of money for a coffee, for every tube or for a bus journey, to a whole lunch or dinner in a restaurant.

A Contactless Brand

In the last 30 years, the world of branding has changed significantly too. In the age of cheques, before the internet, a brand was drawn out by hand and reproduced by marketing agencies. The world of mass marketing didn’t involve very many pieces of branded content. It involved getting your few brand assets in front of as many eyeballs as possible.

Then the internet came along and with it came digital design. Suddenly, designers were able to create digital brand assets on computers: logos, photos, fonts, icons... This meant companies were able to produce much more branded content, in much less time.

And just as shops and bars needed to process more people in less time, design teams needed to create more branded content in less time, to satisfy the increasing number of touchpoints where branded content was needed.

Now, the age of social media demands a huge number of “branded transactions” from each company. Suddenly companies are expected to create content for multiple social media sites on a daily basis.

And the system is starting to creak. On the “consumer” side, people expect a constant newsfeed of content to flick through, and these newsfeeds update constantly. On some platforms, a piece of content may only be live for a matter of minutes.

This means, on the “vendor” (or creator) side, more branded content has to be created than ever before, by more people across each business. Everyone has to be able to put on their designer hat from time to time.

Content creators need instant access to the latest brand assets to create more content in less time, or consumers will simply move on to the next item in their newsfeed.

And that brings us neatly to Pilcro.


Pilcro is your contactless brand.

For every presentation you need to pull together.

For every Tweet or Instagram post that you need to quickly “brand up” in your favourite design tool.

For every email that needs to sound on brand.

For every Facebook advert you need to pull together and keep on brand.

Whether you are a startup or a large marketing team, having instant access to your latest brand assets can greatly speed up creating branded content.

Pilcro can greatly improve the speed and brand-consistency of your output across your whole team, in an age when everyone has to be a designer at times.

Pilcro is your free brand management software for G-Suite.

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