Study: 84% of Consumers Say They'll Stick with Contactless Payments

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Study: 84% of Consumers Say They'll Stick with Contactless Payments

By Anna Wolfe - 01/14/2021
According to Visa's third annual study, 82% of SMBs have adopted new digital technologies as more than half of consumers used contactless payments whenever possible in the last three months.

In the third edition of its global research study, the “Visa Back to Business Study – 2021 Outlook,” Visa  found that the continued small and micro business (SMB) shift towards digital commerce will evolve in the New Year and bring an increased focus on areas such as security and fraud prevention, and more emerging payment tools such as ‘buy now, pay later’ and mobile payment acceptance.

"2021 will bring greater attention to security and fraud prevention, and trial of more emerging digital commerce tools that help businesses thrive.”

According to the study, by the end of 2020, 82% of SMBs surveyed had embraced new forms of digital technology to meet changing consumer behaviors. Looking ahead to 2021, SMBs are assessing what other payment technologies are critical to meeting today’s consumer expectations, with results led by security and fraud management software (47%), contactless or mobile payment acceptance (44%), accepting payments via mobile device (41%), installments or ‘buy now, pay later’ (36%) and digital backend payment operations (31%).

“With greater hindsight into 2020, we can clearly see that the digital payment experiences that exceled the most – contactless and eCommerce – were driven out of necessity and have become more habitual in people’s daily lives at a pace not often seen,” said Kevin Phalen, global head of business solutions, Visa. “If 2020 was the year of contactless and eCommerce, results of this study tell us that 2021 will bring greater attention to security and fraud prevention, and trial of more emerging digital commerce tools that help businesses thrive.”

All markets surveyed have seen a rapid adoption of new payment technologies and changing consumer behavior related to commerce. Additional findings from the study in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Russia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and United States, highlight the depth of the impact in 2020 and expectations for 2021:

  • Contactless Payments Are Here To Stay: In June 2020 only 20% of SMBs surveyed had offered contactless payments for the first time — now, 39% report they have started to accept new digital forms of payments. Nearly three in four (74%) SMBs expect consumers to continue preferring contactless payments even after a vaccine is widely available.
  • SMBs Meet Consumers Where They Are: Globally, 82% of SMB owners have made updates to their operations to meet the increasing demand for digital payments.

New Year Brings a New Era for Consumer Habits

  • Consumer Preference: Two-thirds (65%) of surveyed consumers would prefer to use contactless payments as much as, or even more than, they are currently.
  • Safety-Conscious Shoppers: While the universal focus is on mask use in stores, consumers are also eager to have payment alternatives to handling cash, pens and keypads. 47% of consumers say they will not shop at a store that does not offer a contactless way to pay.
  • At the Card Wash: Card cleanliness remains key for consumers in the fight against the spread of Covid-19. More than three in five (62%) are taking steps to keep their credit cards clean; using disinfectant on their card is the top approach, at 31%.