CardFlight Releases Report Analyzing Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Spending

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The CardFlight Small Business Impact Report provides data analysis of payments trends from more than 500,000 transactions across the U.S., following the global outbreak of COVID-19.

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“By sharing this report and updating it on an ongoing basis, we hope to shed light on how small businesses are being affected by COVID-19 across the country as merchants, government officials, and the public seek to better understand its influence,” Derek Webster, CardFlight Founder and CEO.

CardFlight, the leading SaaS payment technology company, today released the first CardFlight Small Business Impact Report, analyzing how the recent outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting small businesses in the United States. Based on analysis of over 500,000 payment transactions processed across all 50 U.S. states in the period March 2 – March 15, 2020, the data offers a glimpse into how small businesses are being affected by the spread of the virus and its impact on consumer spending and behavior.

Key findings include:

  • Overall, small business sales are down 4.3% from the week of March 2 to the week of March 9
  • Total number of transactions is down 20.5%, although the average transaction size increased from $245 to $295, lessening the impact on total sales
  • Food and drink establishments as a whole were down 12.1%, with bars being hit particularly hard – down 48.7%
  • Retail sales grew 7.7%

“The economic impact of COVID-19 will take several months, if not years, to fully understand, but this analysis offers unique insight into how small businesses across the country are already feeling the effect,” said Derek Webster, CardFlight Founder and CEO. “Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy and, as more communities face disruptions and closures, a better understanding of changes in small business sales can shed light on how businesses are faring in this evolving environment.”

Additional findings include:

  • Merchants in the Organizations vertical, which includes schools, charities, and political, religious, and social organizations, saw sales decrease by 48.2% in the last week
  • Specialty Retail businesses saw a 49% growth in sales
  • Swipe and chip payments dropped by 13.1% and 5.2% respectively week to week, compared to tap-to-pay transactions, which remained relatively steady week to week at only a 1.4% drop. This may shift as more merchants take steps to limit the transmission of COVID-19 by encouraging consumers to use tap to pay

“By sharing this report and updating it on an ongoing basis, we hope to shed light on how small businesses are being affected by COVID-19 across the country as merchants, government officials, and the public seek to better understand its influence,” Webster continued. “As a partner to business owners in all 50 states, we know the outsize impact something like this can have on their businesses, employees, and finances. We encourage everyone to support their local small businesses however they can while staying safe and healthy, and we look forward to working with our partners and SwipeSimple merchants to help support them through this time.”

The report will be updated to monitor and track how consumer payment behaviors change in the coming days and weeks. To access the report and sign up for regular updates click here.

About the Analysis

To create this report, CardFlight analyzed a representative sample of more than 500,000 payment transactions processed from March 2 to March 15, 2020 by 60,000 small businesses in all 50 states using CardFlight’s SwipeSimple software to accept credit and debit card payments.

SwipeSimple is software small-business merchants use to accept payments on the go, in their store, or at their computer. The payments trends identified in this report were processed in “on the go” mobile settings, most often at a customer’s location or in a “pop-up” or open-air sales environment; in a small specialty retail or in store service location; or from a computer when the cardholder isn’t present, i.e. back-office billing, sending an invoice, or scheduled/recurring payments.

About CardFlight

CardFlight is a leading SaaS payment technology company making payment acceptance effortless and simple, by creating cutting-edge solutions designed to help small businesses grow.

SwipeSimple, a signature CardFlight product, reaches businesses through a sales channel of financial institutions, independent sales organizations, and merchant service providers. Used by more than 60,000 small businesses in the U.S., across all 50 states, SwipeSimple empowers entrepreneurs to accept payments on the go, in their stores, and at their computers.

CardFlight takes pride in building forward-thinking solutions defined by reliability and driven with the end-user’s goals in mind. The company is headquartered in New York City, with additional offices in Lincoln, NE. For more information, visit

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Jesse Chen
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