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Debit & Contactless Adoption Increase After a Year of Coronavirus

How Contactless Payments became the 'New Normal' during Covid-19

Debit stands out as the most popular method of payment among clients, and contactless adoption has grown twofold in a year since the onset of the COVID pandemic, according to a PSCU report dubbed Tracking Transaction Trends.

The credit union company, which has been monitoring payments in a pandemic-plagued economy, released the report on the week of March 7.

Debit-related spending for the week went up 18 percent, put side by side with findings for the same period last year. Meanwhile, credit card spending has increased by 14 percent.

PSCU collects this data from its member credit unions. After a whole year under the pangs of COVID, PSCU announced that this was its last-ever weekly release. The firm plans to resume its monthly releases.

Statistics for the past year reveals debit as the most-liked payment avenue:

 “After a previous dip, year over year debit payments resumed to a positive trend in June 2020,” the weekly says.

 From June 2020 to March 2021, debit payments jumped 3 percent. Debit spending over that period has been up 17 percent. 

Last year in the heat of COVID, YoY debit spending took a negative turn for only three weeks. 

Credit usage almost went flat YoY in Oct 2020. Since then, credit payments have dipped 2 percent. Credit spending is up 4 percent YoY since Oct 2020.”

Though debit & credit spending remained up in week 10 of COVID, we have clocked one year of a pandemic’s impact on customer spending, and YoY trends now hinge on it.

According to Glynn Frechette, a senior VP at PSCU, the arrival of the newly approved third federal relief bill & funds will have a significant positive effect on customer spending and encourage more debit card transactions.

Lastly, consumer product preferences changed with Coronavirus. Consumer goods purchases through debit are up 34 percent. Meanwhile, credit purchases have jumped 20 percent from April last year. 

Spending on groceries also went up. Debit purchases jumped 11 percent, while credit is up 15 percent.

The Bottom line

Debit cards and contactless payments remain the most popular ways to pay among shoppers, even exceeding credit and cash, thanks to changes in buying habits amid a pandemic. 

Author Bio: Payment industry guru Taylor Cole is a passionate payments expert at bestpaymentproviders.com who understands the complex world of merchant accounts. He also writes non-fiction on subjects ranging from personal finance to stocks to cryptopay. He enjoys eating pie with ice cream on his backyard porch, as should all right-thinking people.