The U.S. Payments Forum today released its latest Market Snapshot providing a look at the state of the industry, including the accelerated adoption of payment technologies in response to COVID-19, the ongoing transition to EMV® at the pump, trending industry topics, and current Forum priorities and projects.
State of the Market: Industry Sees Accelerated Implementation, Acceptance of Emerging Payment Technologies
COVID-19 has driven change in consumer preferences for shopping and checkout, and the industry has responded with accelerated adoption and implementation of new payment technologies in the U.S. During the November virtual U.S. Payments Forum member meeting, issuers reported significant growth in contactless usage, with some networks reporting a 200% year-over-year increase in contactless spend. With a mix in preference for using cards and mobile phones, more than half (51%) of Americans are now using contactless payment, according to a Mastercard survey.
QR codes have also seen traction as a touchless method for payment. Consumers are becoming more familiar with the technology as more retailers use it for paying at fuel pumps and for initiating check-ins and picking up orders. Some merchants are adopting QR code technology for in-store payments as well, as it can leverage card-on-file information for faster checkout.
While health has been a driver for this shift to touchless technologies, convenience is also a major catalyst for this broad adoption and demand is expected to continue. Mastercard reported that 74% of cardholders have indicated that they will continue to use contactless post-pandemic, and industry leaders are building their long-term strategies with this in mind. Responses to a recent American Express survey revealed that 7 out of 10 merchants report customers requesting contactless since the pandemic began, and 81% of those merchants intend to make contactless a permanent option.
The migration to chip at the pump is also still top of mind for the payments industry. According to the September 2020 Conexxus EMV Preparedness Survey, 14% of gas station owners said that all of their sites were already compliant. While 43% of smaller and independent gas stations with one to 10 sites have no EMV terminals installed yet, no survey respondents said they expected to have zero sites compliant by the liability shift date, April 2021. As it stands, 61% of owners plan to be 100% compliant by then. The Forum has provided resources for those making the transition to chip at the pump, which are available on its website.
Trending Topics: COVID Pushes Shoppers – and Fraudsters – to New Avenues
Retailers at the meeting reported dramatic increases in ecommerce transactions and omni-channel shopping experiences such as curbside pick-up and buy online/pick up in store (BOPIS). According to a collaborative study from PYMNTS and Cybersource, 25% of consumers prefer wholly digital shopping experiences, and 12% are online and mobile cross-channel shoppers, representing a 28% increase in cross-channel shoppers since the pandemic began. This has brought great opportunity for retailers to expand digital options for their customers, but has also attracted attention from fraudsters looking for ways to use previously stolen data in new avenues. Retailers who have recently implemented digital options are remaining vigilant and evolving their strategies to utilize stronger authentication methods.
Solutions like EMV 3D-Secure (3DS) are being more widely adopted to combat e-commerce fraud risks without adding friction to the checkout process. During the meeting, members highlighted that while EMV 3DS use is rising, there is still work to do to maximize its potential and increase adoption. More consistent data collection to build stronger consumer profiles and improve risk scoring was cited as an important area for industry work.
Forum Priorities: Aiding Transition to New Technologies with Education, Collaboration
With great progress across the industry in the past year, both in response to the pandemic and despite the pandemic challenges, the U.S. Payments Forum continues to focus on both education and collaboration. In 2021, the Forum will continue to provide education, best practices and technical guidance on key topics for the industry.
Many projects will focus on payments best practices in light of COVID-19, including mobile and contactless acceptance and issuance. Other continuing priorities include EMV-enablement at the fuel pump and transit open-loop contactless payments acceptance. As more transactions move to the online space, the Forum will also continue to provide education on EMV 3DS and other card-not-present fraud mitigation tools like tokenization, including Payment Account Reference (PAR).
The Forum has numerous EMV and emerging technology-related education projects currently underway, including:
A resource on device authentication and cardholder verification techniques for mobile in-app and remote payments
Educational podcasts on mobile wallets
A mini-series of educational resources on trending topics related to fraud
An educational resource on EMV 3DS outlining the data fields that are deemed most useful for mitigating fraud for merchants and issuers
A resource on cardholder verification method (CVM) choice at unattended terminals
A white paper on fleet card acceptance at fuel pumps
A white paper on debit routing and tokenization with card-on-file transactions
A white paper providing recommendations to enhance the understanding of common EMV terminology used in certification intake forms
A project documenting retailer and financial institution use cases for mobile driver’s licenses
The U.S. Payments Forum published the following resources over the past quarter: