News & Views - Savantor

How COVID-19 is changing payments

Sunday, 16 August 2020

As the country attempts to emerge from lockdown without causing a second peak of infections, what are the changes within the payments industry which have taken place so far and what is the likely impact?

The virus has accelerated many existing trends, such as working from home, which will be life-changing for many people.

Similarly there has been an acceleration in changes in payments – contactless being the most obvious example. It is estimated that two-thirds of transactions globally are now contactless, around three times more than a year ago. Within these contactless transactions, some banks are reporting mobile wallet transactions up 17% compared to a year ago – around double the growth rate predicted for 2020.

Even cash-heavy economies such as Germany and Italy have seen a surge in (contactless) card-based and mobile payments, helped by the increase in the contactless payment limit in most European countries from €25 to €50 (UK £30 to £45).

One of the most significant ways the payments industry has been affected by the coronavirus crisis is in its economic impact. A reduction in consumer spending, declining international trade and a global economy on the verge of recession will inevitably lower the volume of payment transactions.

Besides the actual level of spending and the way consumers shop, what people are spending on has also changed significantly. Spending on holidays and associated industries such as airlines has inevitably declined dramatically, whilst pharmaceutical and fitness products, DIY supplies and online media have all seen a growth in volume.

Merchants have been actively encouraging customers to pay by card, ideally contactless, instead of using cash – merchants accepting only cash have found themselves at a significant disadvantage.

Unfortunately there have also been more negative impacts. As digital transactions have increased, fraudsters have seen more opportunities, and fraud has migrated into the mobile channel. According to ACI Worldwide mobile fraud attempts were up by 13% between March and April this year.

The accelerated move towards contactless and away from cash has highlighted the dependence on cash of a small section of society, particularly amongst the vulnerable and elderly, for whom it remains the key way of managing their finances and who struggle with the use of digital payments. How these people are protected and helped moving forward needs to be addressed and taken into account.

Whilst we can look at the developing trends and surmise how things will evolve moving forward, it is evident that an ability to adapt is key to survival for businesses, especially with circumstances dependent on the instability of the virus and our attempts to manage it. COVID-19 has caused changes to accelerate in payments such that we are already in a different landscape; companies in the payments industry need to make sure that they can adapt to it.

Savantor Services

Savantor Services

Savantor services are tailored to Client needs based on our core service areas

Specialist Resourcing Payments Strategy Platform Transition Operational Efficiency
Savantor Services

Job Opportunities

Consulting and contracting roles in the payments, mobile and banking arena within the UK and across Europe

View more
Savantor Services

Savantor Views

Find out more from our Savantor brochures, MarketEye back copies and Industry opinion

Collateral Market Eye News & Views Sign Up to receive MarketEye

Client Quotes

Interchange Review

"Savantor did a superb job in confirming what we believed was an area of weakness. The detail we now have will enable us to agree internally what we need to do to improve structure, control and income. Nationwide management were very impressed with the quality of the Savantor team."

Adam Slater, Senior Manager - Banking - Nationwide Building Society - UK

Moneris Solutions

"Savantor did an outstanding job of the review and I received nothing but positive feedback on the interaction with our management team."

Jeff Guthri, COO - Moneris Solutions - Canada

EMV Migration Planning

"It was a strategic imperative for the bank to be EMV compliant for our payment cards and the experience that Savantor brought to the company has proved to be invaluable."

Eddie Sweeney, Chief Technology Officer - AIB Bank - Ireland

Expert Witness

"After searching extensively for the required industry expert in a complex litigation, Savantor was identified to have the necessary industry knowledge and expertise on a range of complex issues. Savantor provided clear advice and was able to quickly hone in on the key issues, but most importantly, generating pragmatic winnable answers."

Gavin Ingram, General Counsel & VP Strategic Planning - Global Blue - Asia Pacific

Card Migration

"I was impressed by the speed with which the Savantor team were able to start delivering and as a team they have made a significant contribution to the success of the Programme."

Bjorn Niels, Programme Director - ABN AMRO Bank - The Netherland

New Payments Initiative

"In moving our new initiative into reality, we required specialist payments knowledge and forward thinking in the retail sector. Savantor supplied this and provided very effective guidance throughout. We enjoyed working with them."

Sophie High, Head of Innovation Delivery - Cancer Research UK

Collections Transformation

"Savantor did an absolutely superb job for us on the Collections programme. The professionalism, hard work, courtesy and tenacity of their experts is a credit both to the individuals and to Savantor."

Peter O'Dea, Senior Manager - Collections Department - Permanent tsb bank - Ireland

Complex Cards Business Transformation

"This was a major business transformation that required us to build an excellent team made up of internal bank specialists, supported by external card business, technical and operations expertise. Savantor provided specialists from the local market and with international experience to fill a variety of important roles. The Savantor resourcing team are professional, reliable and good people to work with."

Ricardo Gomez, Director - Operations & Technology - WiZink Bank - Spain

Clients - Request Support

Send us a support request and one of our specialists will be in contact to assist you.

Consultants – Upload your CV

Register your CV with us and gain access to a range of job opportunities through our online job search portal.