While COVID-19 didn’t invent the concept of cashless and contactless shopping, it did bring the concept to the forefront. In countries like the UK more stores began adopting contactless payment preferences earlier this year as a hygienic alternative to cash.

Now contactless payment is seen as a necessity in an effort to fight the spread of the virus between workers at the few places that remain open and customers in already high stress environments.

Only a few years ago there were still many consumers who were wary of online shopping and contactless payment because it seemed like a security risk. However, as the conditions are changing, so are consumer opinions.

According to GlobalData’s global consumer survey, 76% of global consumers say their shopping behavior is always/often/somewhat influenced by how the world around them is changing.

Consumers are adapting to contactless

In times like these, consumers learn to adapt. Thanks to the lockdown, there is a rise in online orders (not payable by cash of course), mobile payments and contactless payment. This is changing how consumers live their lives long term. Why bring a purse if all you need is your cell phone? Online orders mean everything is delivered to you conveniently, leaving more leisure time in your life. Mobile banks are appealing to consumers constantly crossing borders, working on the cloud or living a digital lifestyle.

But this does mean that some consumers will be left out of this new world of digital payments. For low-income consumers or those who don’t have a bank account for various reasons, this leaves them out of the equation. Brands still want to reach as many people as possible, but a cashless society can leave many out in the cold. In countries where it is normal for people to work in the informal economy, it would mean a reduction in their spending power.

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This pandemic is not only changing how the world addresses health and economic crises, it is also challenging consumer behaviors and likely these changes will persist long after the lockdown is lifted.