Increased use of all forms of contactless payments is a permanent change image

Increased use of all forms of contactless payments is a permanent change

By Clay Wilkes, CEO, Galileo

I’m wrapping up my 2021 predictions with one that may be self-evident but speaks to the power COVID has exerted on consumer behavior and the power of financial services.

The hard lessons of COVID have unleashed a permanent change in how people pay in the U.S. Unlike the UK and Europe, the U.S. was slow to jump on the contactless bandwagon. Consumers were happy to swipe or dip their cards, and there was no compelling reason to change—until COVID made avoiding touching anything outside the home de rigeur.

Avoiding contact during payment. COVID-19 has accelerated contactless payment adoption among a previously disinterested U.S. consumer market. The uptake in preference for tap-and-go payments, including cards and wearables, makes perfect sense in a health-safety conscious environment where no one wants to touch anything outside their homes that’s been touched by others. But COVID-inspired adoption has accelerated behavioral changes. Even after COVID has loosened its grip, consumers won’t give up the newly found convenience of contactless payments they were introduced to during the pandemic.

Decoupling shopping from physical locations. Similarly, COVID’s accelerating effect on e-commerce and m-commerce will continue long after the health crisis abates, as consumers have become hooked on the choice and convenience of shopping on their laptops and phones.

Thanks for reading my five top predictions for 2021. I’d enjoy hearing yours too, so please share and comment!

Wishing you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2021!

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