Sunday , November 29, 2020

Contactless Transactions at Small Businesses Have More Than Doubled Since March

New data from a point-of-sale services provider show just how much of a boost the Covid-19 pandemic has given to contactless payments.

New York City-based CardFlight Inc., a technology company serving more than 60,000 small businesses through its SwipeSimple service, says in its latest weekly report on payment trends since the pandemic began slamming the economy in March that contactless payment transactions initiated either through a credit or debit card or smart phone were up 107.1% in the week of June 29-July 5 from CardFlight’s baseline week of March 2-8.

In contrast, transactions with dipped EMV chip cards rose just 20.4% over the same period.

The highly infectious coronavirus that causes Covid-19 has scared many consumers into not touching as many surfaces as possible when making payments, including POS terminals and cash. Merchants have responded by encouraging online and contactless payments. “We continue to see that overall growth in sales made via contactless payment methods are outpacing those made via EMV chip,” the new report says.

The report reinforces data from other payments providers and organizations measuring economic activity that U.S. business is emerging from the springtime lockdown orders in most states. Total transaction counts among CardFlight’s merchants were up 25.1% in the June 29-July 5 week from early March, and sales were up 20.4%.

Consumers are getting out of the house more and spending. The value of card-present sales, which in mid-May were off nearly 17% from the baseline week, were up 15.3% last week from the baseline. Card-not-present sales were up by 23.1% from the baseline but down from their recent peak of 29.7% over the baseline in the first week of June.

While the number of active merchants last week was still below the baseline week by 3.1%, slightly worse that the negative 2.1% the week before, the number of transactions per active merchant was up by 29.1%—almost double the number from the June 22-28 week.

The nascent revival could be threatened by rapidly increasing Covid-19 infections in many states in the past couple of weeks, though those infections have yet to be reflected in payment data.

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