Almost every sector of society has been impacted by the current COVID-19 crisis – from school to work to social gatherings. The retail and hospitality industries are no exception, with many businesses scrambling to change how they accept payments from customers.
Even before the pandemic, cash was already on the decline – with an estimated 33% of Americans no longer carrying paper money. With new social distancing guidelines and less in-person shopping, businesses are even more incentivized to offer contactless payment options that help minimize physical interaction between employees and customers.
This transition is already happening – with more data coming out all the time. According to shopping statistics from January to April 2020, a few trends will likely become permanent fixtures of a post-pandemic world.1
The Future of Shopping and Payments in a Post-Pandemic World
NFC payments become mainstream
Near field communication (NFC) is the wireless technology behind contactless payments. Because COVID-19 may live on surfaces for days, both sides of every in-person transaction are better off whenever this payment option is available.
This fact explains why Mastercard witnessed a 40% increase in contactless payments during the early days of the pandemic.2
The growth of EBT payments
Applications for food assistance programs have increased by 80% – largely due to the economic toll COVID-19 has inflicted.3
Not surprisingly, there is a corresponding increase in people who use Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) to pay for groceries under the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
This trend will likely continue – especially since participants can now use EBT when buying food online.
Payments go Mobile
The dining industry has been hit hard by COVID-19. The same is true for in-person retail. However, both sectors are making a comeback, thanks to the rise of mobile credit card processing.
With delivery options and curbside pickup, customers can still buy the items they want – without stepping foot inside any restaurants or stores.
Over the last several decades, the general trend has been toward a more cashless society – spurred on by the growth of electronic payments, online shopping, and mobile technology.
COVID-19 has simply accelerated this shift, creating unprecedented demand for truly cashless payment options. Survival in the post-pandemic world will likely favor those businesses that successfully implement contactless payments.
For further insights on post-pandemic payment trends, be sure to review our accompanying resource.
Infographic created by First Data
Dori Bright is the senior vice president of Marketing Intelligence and Small Business Market Development at Fiserv, a leading global provider of mobile payments and financial technology solutions, helping businesses connect with customers through physical, digital, and mobile payment experiences that drive commerce.
With more than 15 years of experience working with the industry’s leaders in digital marketing, Dori has a distinguished track record of success, driving best-in-class customer experiences.
1 “Update | Coronavirus Impact on Consumer Spending | SpendTrend® Special Report,” First Data, 22 May 2020
2 “Contactless payments jump 40% as shoppers fear germs on cash and credit cards, Mastercard says,” CNBC, 29 April 2020
3 “Most Americans on food stamps must shop at stores, risking coronavirus exposure,” Politico, 7 April 2020