With the second wave of federal stimulus funding solidly underway, fintechs and financial institutions are working with government agencies and the Small Business Association to accelerate payouts to small and midsize businesses and civilians. These initiatives are driving adoption of mobile apps, digital wallets and prepaid products and have increased cooperation among participating financial institutions, according to recent reports. Ronald Ingram, founder of Echo Payment Systems, underscored the need to speed payment flows at this time. EchoPay's debit card and mobile app, with direct deposit, will help tens of millions of unbanked and underbanked Americans, he stated.
With heightened anxiety among shoppers over COVID-19 exposure, contactless payments are becoming the go-to option for everyday purchases. Nearly eight in 10 consumers (79 percent), globally, reported using contactless payments, citing safety and cleanliness as key drivers, according to a new survey by Mastercard. This is in line with results of a survey in late March by the ETA and The Strawhecker Group. Twenty-seven percent of respondent U.S. businesses that were still accepting in-person payments said they had seen increases in contactless payments. Contactless payments employ near field communications technology and are initiated using an NFC-compatible EMV card or a mobile payment app.
Positive transaction trends from the restaurant category are instilling cautious optimism among payments analysts, business owners and service providers. Recent reports indicate that takeout, curbside pickup and delivery services are fueling growth in quick service, fast casual and fine dining restaurant categories. Austin Mac Nab, CEO at VizyPay, noted that quick-thinking restaurateurs who changed their business model during the shutdown are providing essential services during the pandemic. Their resilience and ability to change how they process customer transactions, by taking call-in orders and creating an online presence, have begun to pay off, he noted. R.J. Horsley, president at SpotOn, called the uptick in restaurant sales a remarkable transition that demonstrates the restaurant industry's adaptability.
Social distancing and working from home are impacting consumer buying behavior, according to a new study by Paysafe Group. How COVID-19 is impacting payment preferences identified five key trends related to the global pandemic's impact on in-store and online shopping habits. The report is the newest edition of the company's Lost in Transaction series. Daniel Kornitzer, chief business development officer at Paysafe, observed that emerging trends among North American consumers will likely become permanent. "With the rapid growth in eCommerce, the need for robust payment solutions for the card-not-present space is stronger than ever," he stated. Paysafe researchers found that 49 percent of U.S. consumers expect to maintain their increased level of online shopping, even when municipalities reopen.
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