‘Clean’ contactless cards key to pandemic-driven digital adoption surge

Right now credit unions have a golden opportunity to teach members about such alternative payment methods as ‘tap to pay’.

Very few industries have remained unaffected by COVID-19, and the payments industry is no exception. The ongoing pandemic is acting as a driver for consumer payment choices and purchasing behavior, influencing how and where we transact, along with what forms of payment we use and why we choose to use them. According to findings from PSCU’s third annual Eye on Payments study, one of the most significant impacts of COVID-19 on payments has been a surge in digital adoption, as illustrated by an uptick in online shopping, increased usage of mobile apps, mobile wallets and digital banking, as well as “clean” forms of payments like contactless cards.

Seventy percent of Eye on Payments respondents reported they make decisions about how they will pay for something primarily based on which payment option is the most physically safe at the point of sale. In line with this finding, the number of survey respondents—credit union members in particular—who say they shop online at least a few times a week increased by almost 50% since the pandemic started. The frequency of online purchases has increased among all age groups. Respondents also reported increased usage of mobile apps and online platforms to order ahead for grocery or food pick-up or delivery, with most respondents indicating they expect to continue using these channels post- pandemic.

The Findings

As consumers look for “clean” forms of payments that limit human contact, there has been a 72% year-over-year increase in survey respondents that report having a contactless card. In addition, 57% of respondents said they used a contactless card at least a few times a month before the pandemic; this number increased to 65% during the pandemic, and 69% anticipate continuing to use it post-pandemic.


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