How Contactless Payments Rose Up Through The Pandemic

It has been a rough year for the entire world because of the pandemic. As things began to look more hopeful, we are now facing new concerns because of the Delta-variant of Covid-19. A lot has changed since the pandemic began but surprisingly, commerce remained relatively stable all through this time.

While the business sector has obviously taken a hit because of the pandemic, many business owners and companies were able to stay afloat and effectively keep the industries going. There are two primary reasons this was possible – online shopping and of course, contactless payments.

One of the general guidelines during the pandemic was that people should limit contact with others as much as they can. Thanks to the needs of industries to continue going, contactless payments began to become more popular. In fact, things are looking more positive for this new method of payment.

How Contactless Payments Rose Up Through The Pandemic

What Is Contactless Payment?

To put it simply, contactless payment refers to payment systems where you tap your card or a device to a terminal to make payment. There are quite a few technologies that work with contactless payment which include NFC and digital wallets. It’s a safe way to transact especially in times like these.

Since you no longer had to give your card or your cash to the cashier, it made person-to-person infections very unlikely during transactions. Aside from being an efficient and safe way to make payments, it’s also a fast way to buy goods as well.

While amazing, there are still a few challenges when it comes to contact payment. One is that it’s not easy for businesses to adapt to this method of payment. It takes the right technology and security to make sure that companies are capable of handling such transactions.

Another problem is that contactless payments are not as common and easy to incorporate in lesser developed countries. Still, there’s no doubt that throughout the pandemic, contactless payment transactions soared to new heights. What has made this possible?

Why During The Pandemic?

If you look at it, contactless payments are very convenient. It should’ve been the standard practice for a very long time. And yet, it only rose in usage during the pandemic – a time where many industries initially struggled and economies had a hard time keeping up with the challenges.

How Contactless Payments Rose Up Through The Pandemic

It’s good to take a look at how contactless payments began to increase in parts of the world. For instance, Dutch consumers used to pay cash for 30% of their purchases around January to February 2020 – before the pandemic. By June 2020, the number significantly dropped to 20%.

By October 2020, consumers began using contactless payment methods for 67% of their purchases. By the start of the year, the number was only at 50% for Dutch consumers. It’s not just in that country as well, other people worldwide are becoming more accepting of contactless payment methods.

In the US, people anticipated an event called the “death of the wallet” in 2018. Theories about this were brought about by the rise of digital wallets and cryptocurrencies Although the ‘death of the wallet” isn’t happening anytime soon, the rise of contactless payments is a precursor to it.

To understand why contactless payment rose during the pandemic, it would be wise to first understand the science behind the Covid-19 virus.

The virus is spread in various ways. They can be through droplets produced by coughing and sneezing. One of the reasons why the virus is easily spread is because the virus can last for a few hours on surfaces. So yes, the virus can latch on to money, bank cards, coins, and other mediums used for payments.

In theory, it’s possible to get infected with Covid-19 if you are given a change that’s contaminated. That’s why you should sanitize your cards, your money, and change is given to you by others. However, if you use contactless payment, this is no longer necessary.

The keyword is “contactless”.” You simply tap your card or your smartphone, or any of your digital wallets on a terminal, and then the transaction will be made. It removes the middleman from the transactions. As such, you can go shopping without having to come in contact with anyone else.

This is the primary reason why contactless payments rose through the pandemic. It gave people a means to continue buying what they want without having to be worried about getting infected. Be it groceries, clothes, or leisurely items, anything is purchasable because of contactless payments.

It’s not just the consumers that benefited from contactless payments too. Even businesses benefit because they can proceed with their operations with less concern. For the employees of these businesses, there are lesser risks as contact is minimized even further.

Contactless Payments In The Future

The technology behind contactless payments may be way better than it used to. However, with its massive growth and development, it’s bound for stronger growth in the future as well. There are many ways for it to grow but for now, security should be the key aspect that developers need to work on.

Although contactless payments are secure, those who’ve yet to adapt to them are still concerned about possible drawbacks when paying through this method. It would be great if developers cover the transaction method 100% so that the worries of people are going to be long gone.

The good news is that there are now regulatory standards as well as commissions that hope to ensure the safety of consumers when using contactless payment methods. It will be exciting to see the industry change more in the future once these changes are implemented.

There’s no telling what the future holds for contactless payment but obviously, people are all for it. Thanks to its nature, it has helped consumers buy what they want and it has also helped businesses continue their operations without high risks during the pandemic.

It might grow even further in the future. Mass adoption is the end game of course and with the current trend, it’s looking more and more possible.

 

 

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