Digital, mobile and contactless usage continues to trend upward

Credit unions must capitalize on consumer interest in emerging payments options.

While the world is collectively striving for a return to some semblance of normalcy, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to shape the U.S., its economy and consumers, as well as the global economic landscape. As consumers have grown more accustomed to change over the past year and a half, the economy continues to demonstrate its resilience—and the payments industry is no exception. PSCU’s 2021 Eye on Payments study set out to gauge payment preferences among credit union members and other financial institution customers (non-members), including how they evolved over the past 12 months.

More and more consumers are turning to mobile wallets, digital payments, and contactless cards or tap-and-go payments offerings to make purchases. Consumers are also indicating strong interest in such emerging payments and offerings as cryptocurrency and installment payments, or buy now, pay later.

The Findings

Usage of mobile wallets, digital payments and contactless cards continues to increase. Respondents who reported using a mobile wallet in the past 60 days have increased 50% from 2019 to 2021, with 30% of those reporting they use a mobile wallet at least a few times per month. All generations surveyed report using their contactless card more now than they did before the pandemic, and 86% of respondents with a contactless card report using it at least a few times per year, as opposed to only 65% pre-pandemic. In addition, 57% of all respondents report using digital payment methods at least periodically, as opposed to 42% in 2019.


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