Unlike the case with previous changes in consumer payment behavior that took years, if not decades, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated adoption of touchless payments, as more and more consumers look for hygienically safer and convenient ways to pay, says a Fiserv Inc. report released Friday.
The report surveyed 1,037 consumers about a diverse range of topics ranging from their use of contactless payment options to their views on cybersecurity.
Of the consumers surveyed, 33% say their use of contactless payments has increased during the pandemic. Even more telling is that 69% of respondents say they plan to continue using contactless payments after the pandemic subsides. The remaining 31% say they won’t.
Touchless or contactless payments include mobile wallets, in-app purchases, Quick Response codes, buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS), curbside transactions, and other methods of digital payment.
“Shifts in consumer behavior have driven rapid adoption of digital purchasing types that limit physical interactions,” Alain Barbet, head of payments risk solutions for Fiserv, says in a prepared statement. “As businesses begin shaping new e-commerce strategies to bring additional digital consumers in, it’s equally critical that businesses maintain consumer trust by securing the customer data they acquire through digital channels.”
Among the demographic groups most likely to embrace contactless payments going forward, Millennials lead the way at 74% followed by Gen Zers at 70%. Among Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, 65% plan to continue embracing contactless payments.
When it comes to the various types of contactless-payment options available, 43% of respondents say have used BOPIS within the past 30 days and 50% have taken advantage of curbside pickup. Overall, more than half of Gen Zers and Millennials—as well as more than 40% of Gen Xers—regularly use these two options. E-commerce purchases are not far behind when it comes to consumer’s preferences for contactless payments, with 40% of respondents saying they make e-commerce purchases often. Nine percent say they do so daily.
Paying within a mobile app is also gaining popularity, with one-third of respondents saying they have done so. The biggest adopters of mobile-app payments are Gen-Zers at 41%. QR codes are also gaining ground with consumers, as 15% of respondents say they have used the barcodes to initiate payment.
In addition to their affinity for contactless payments, consumers also have growing concerns about cybersecurity. Seventy-nine percent of respondents say they are equally or more concerned about cybersecurity compared to the previous year.
One reason for these concerns is fear of having personal identifiable information (PII) stolen. More than 40% of Gen-Z and Millennials have had their PII compromised, and 22% of consumers reported a credit card compromise in the last year, down from 57% in 2017, the report says. In contrast, just 23% of respondents believe their personal identifiable information is very or extremely secure.