Consumers Embrace Touch-Free Payment Options Amid Pandemic

With no signs of returning to “normal” any time soon, 2020 has been the year of learning to pivot for consumers and businesses alike. The use of contactless payments has already been growing, but the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed this touch-averse technology months, if not years, ahead of previous projections.

Recent data from the U.S. Payments Forum, a Princeton Junction, N.J.-based payments association found that contactless use has increased 150% since March 2019. According to Mastercard Inc., global contactless use was already up 40% in the first quarter. After the lockdowns swept across the U.S. in March, this number jumped dramatically.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought immense change to the payments industry, shown in how effectively merchants have responded to calls for cleaner payments and reduced touchpoints across brick and mortar stores,” explained Randy Vanderhoof, director of the U.S. Payments Forum.

“Industry leaders are dedicated to addressing these necessary changes and are still meeting virtually to remain connected in these times. Merchants and issuers are working to offer as many options as possible for consumers.”

Further evidence of just how much consumers have readily adapted to the lockdowns is the leap in buy-online-pickup-in-store. This method of payment increased a staggering 208% between April 1 and April 20, compared to the same period last year. It also demonstrates the creativity and determination of business owners trying to adapt and continue operations as best they can during these tough times.

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Why Consumers are Opting for Contactless Payments

Why have consumers shifted further away from cash amid the pandemic? Contactless payments have been utilized more than ever before to minimize personal risk and prevent further transmission of the virus. Many consumers have become wary of “dirty” cash and are being encouraged by retailers and banks to use contactless payments. This payment option has been deemed both convenient and social-distancing-appropriate.

However, not all business owners are equipped to offer such services. Some businesses in the past have been conservative about adopting contactless, tap-to-pay features. Due to COVID, many are now being forced to make changes to keep their doors open, stay competitive and fulfill their customers’ needs.

Where to Get Contactless Payment Merchant Services

If your business is searching for ways to level up its operations and meet customers changing needs and demands during these uncertain times, consider reaching out to a high risk provider. A high risk specialist like EMerchantBroker, for example, can provide high risk credit card processing that allows you to easily process contactless payments. Get the merchant services you need to offer your customers both safety and convenience.

Author Bio: Blair Thomas has been a music producer, bouncer, screenwriter and for over a decade has been the proud Co-Founder of eMerchantBroker, the highest rated high risk merchant account processor in the country. He has climbed in the Himalayas, survived a hurricane, and lived on a gold mine in the Yukon. He currently calls Thailand his home with a lifetime collection of his favorite books.