It’s been over a year since our daily normal was altered as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Not only did daily routines change, but so did the consumer and payments landscape. In our 2020 review, we talked about the impact the pandemic had on business-to-business payments, e-commerce and digital payments, and buy-now-pay-later options.
Now that the initial shock has passed, new routines and preferences are beginning to surface. Our support team has been there for our merchants every step of the way, so we asked them what changes they have seen and what they believe is here to stay.
Mobile and Online Payments
It’s no surprise that online purchasing and mobile payments came up frequently. “Since travel and in-person shopping has been minimal, we have seen a significant rise in the number of online and mobile payments accepted by our merchants,” said Stephanie Morris, Director of Financial Institutions. The demand for on-the-go purchasing is now the new norm.
Now that many people have seen the ease of shopping online or on-the-go, they may not go back to brick-and-mortar stores as much as before – and it’s no wonder why. Mobile payments can allow merchants to offer curbside pickup. Traveling to conventions and selling their products and services becomes a new possibility. Digital wallets grow in significance. Contactless transactions make weary shoppers feel safer. The opportunities for growth are endless.
Whether it’s the option of Apple Pay, a wireless card reader, or in-app payments, mobile solutions are sure to leave their mark. This may be why another change we have seen included enhancements to make these payment methods simple for all parties.
As for the future, the pandemic may have opened a door for quicker innovations within the industry. Updating systems wasn’t a choice, but a necessity. “In the past year more and more merchants have wanted the option for contactless payments. This has pushed the payment industry to really improve the types of terminals and virtual terminals available,” mentioned team member, Tiffany Betchel. But improvements aren’t limited to contactless payments. Even traditional terminals and software have gotten updates over the past year.
Unfortunately, the pandemic also brought up challenges for all. Not all the new innovations in terminals are flawless, and merchants may run into some issues as a result. Thankfully, any issues we have seen have been minor and have a quick fix to them. The improvements are far superior to any flaws. Also, many businesses are closing due to the impact that the pandemic has had on them. Whether it’s due to a lack of demand or not having the resources to adjust to changes in their industry, it’s hard for us to watch some of our long-time merchants fall to the tribulations they have faced in the past 15 months.
It will be interesting to see what other changes continue to happen in the coming months within our industry. With a world that is constantly adapting to new advancements in technology, payments are no different. What’s something new you started doing during the pandemic that you think you’ll keep up with?