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4 Payments Trends that Will Outlive COVID


September 22, 2020

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What we have observed recently by working with clients throughout the Payments ecosystem

By Kurt Strawhecker

Contactless payments are connecting with consumers

Americans are quickly gaining interest in contactless payments. According to Trevor Rubel, President and COO at AuthVia, “We’re already seeing it as a function of convenience, speed, and integrating payments into an already evolving experience with merchants. Really, what’s happened is this has just accelerated that. The need for contactless, as well as integrated payments, is only going to grow over time. Again, I think we will redefine the definition of contactless payments, but it’s going to continue to garner awareness and continue to evolve.”

Of course, contactless point of sale (POS) options are much more predominant in non-U.S. markets, but the pandemic has encouraged consumers to try contactless payment methods in a variety of merchant situations.

According to Daniel Wolfe, Editor-in-Chief at PaymentsSource, “One common expectation is that people will shun cash, perceiving it as dirty and a vector for transferring the virus, and instead favor contactless cards. The benefit of contactless cards over other types of card payments, such as EMV chip-and-PIN, is that they minimize contact with point of sale readers.” (Source)

Many TSG acquiring clients pivoted their cloud POS systems to enable a touchless payment environment via the customer’s smartphone, as a quick response to the demand for contactless transactions – especially in restaurants.  For instance, Toast, a leading cloud-based POS/acquirer to the restaurant industry provided a unique contactless system to their customers in March.

An accelerated rush to develop more relevant technologies

The latest developments in digital payments (and the adoption of those tools) point to the growing ambition of digital payment providers and thus, post-COVID-19, digital payments adoption by merchants and consumers will not slowdown. The shift in consumer payment behavior (during and post COVID-19) could even disintermediate consumers from traditional payments players/incumbents that have legacy technology and are not quick to pivot or adjust their models, ushering in a more dynamic industry landscape. We are (and will continue) witnessing faster and more widespread adoption of emerging technologies and models. We believe that we will see an acceleration in the uptake of payment technologies post COVID-19 that address the needs of the new normal, including mobile solutions, non-contact authentication, proximity services, cloud-based services and tools for communications and collaboration.

Reprinted with the permission of the Strawhecker Group.