More evidence emerged that consumers are still increasing their use of contactless payments, over a year since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic. Contactless transaction counts among the more than 75,000 small businesses in the latest CardFlight Small Business Report grew 426.7% in the week ending May 2 compared to the baseline period in March 2020. Whether made with a contactless card or mobile phone, the count has steadily increased since March 1 this year.
And while dipped transactions have experienced similar increases for the same period, these transaction counts are up 53.1% from March 2020. “We continue to see that overall growth in sales made via contactless payment methods [is] outpacing those made via EMV chip,” the report says. “Transactions made via contactless payment methods are now 195% higher than their pre-Covid baseline levels.”
The CardFlight report also shows overall increases in sales, with April sales 97.2% more than the March 2020 base. March 2021 sales were up 91.7%. Both months were up dramatically from the February increase of 41.5%, perhaps reflecting better weather or reductions in pandemic countermeasures. The pandemic did not begin to have a serious impact on U.S. consumers and business until the latter part of March 2020.
One manifestation of these countermeasures early on that continues is consumer affinity for shopping online. Card-not-present transactions are up 79.9% from the March 2020 period. Card-present transactions, while still a large share of payments, increased 59.4% for the same period.