Contactless debit transaction numbers still remain elusive

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Mercator Advisory Group releases new research that looks at contactless payment activity and the degree to which COVID-19 is affecting its growth.

One of the 3 exhibits included in this research report

The onset of the coronavirus created the perfect storm of events that is driving awareness more quickly than all the promotional activities have to date. Cardholders’ wellbeing is the incentive to adopt a new payment method.

COVID-19 has created consumer interest and use of contact-free payment experiences as fear of infection from surfaces, including a point-of-sale (POS) device, drives new behaviors. While reports and surveys proclaim cardholders’ interest in contactless technology, the actual number of contactless debit transactions authorized on a contactless card or mobile app remains elusive. This report, COVID-19: The Power Behind Contactless, considers the available market data and Mercator Advisory Group research to better understand the level of contactless payment activity and the degree to which COVID-19 is affecting its growth.

“The onset of the coronavirus created the perfect storm of events that is driving awareness more quickly than all the promotional activities have to date. Cardholders’ wellbeing is the incentive to adopt a new payment method. More consumers are now aware of the contactless capabilities they have on their debit card, which is driving new users in addition to increased use by current users,” comments Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group and author of the report.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Prior to the onset of the coronavirus, debit card issuers had been actively issuing contactless debit cards for the improved user experience, and hoping to convert cash transactions to interchange earning payments as experienced in similar economies like Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom.
  • While adoption of contactless by merchants has also been growing, it will likely create higher card processing fees. Contactless transactions are often routed through the global networks, which may be more expensive than an EFT debit network transaction. Also, if the experience of other countries is repeated in the U.S, cash purchases will now incur more visible interchange expense and processing costs.
  • Cardholder interest in contact-free transactions, including recent Mercator Advisory Group survey data collected in June 2020, measures the increased use of contactless by current users and new users.

This report has 13 pages and 3 exhibits.

Companies mentioned in this report include: Apple, Costco, CVS, Starbucks, Target, Visa, Walmart.

Members of Mercator Advisory Group’s Debit Advisory Service have access to this report as well as the upcoming research for the year ahead, presentations, analyst access, and other membership benefits.

For more information and media inquiries, please call Mercator Advisory Group's main line: (781) 419-1700, send e-mail to info@mercatoradvisorygroup.com.

For free industry news, opinions, research, company information and more visit us at http://www.PaymentsJournal.com.

Follow us on Twitter @ http://twitter.com/MercatorAdvisor.

About Mercator Advisory Group
Mercator Advisory Group is the leading independent research and advisory services firm exclusively focused on the payments and banking industries. We deliver pragmatic and timely research and advice designed to help our clients uncover the most lucrative opportunities to maximize revenue growth and contain costs. Our clients range from the world's largest payment issuers, acquirers, processors, merchants and associations to leading technology providers and investors. Mercator Advisory Group is also the publisher of the online payments and banking news and information portal PaymentsJournal.com.

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Karen Yetter
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