Changing trends during Covid-19: Digital payments ride high on Corona waves

By: |
September 11, 2020 3:58 PM

To minimise the chance of getting infected by Covid-19, end consumers clearly prefer more of the non-touch payment options such as ‘tap-on-phone’ and link based payments on their smartphone.

Novel Coronavirus Covid-19, Covid-19 pandemic, Covid-19 lockdown, digital payments, video KYC, Visa Safe ClickThe traditional businesses faced immense challenges during the lockdown and have been forced to innovate and transform themselves to be more digital.

While most of the industries – especially luxury goods and services sectors – got hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, bringing down the economic growth, the pandemic has accelerated digital payments significantly. The traditional businesses faced immense challenges during the lockdown that was imposed to contain the spread of Novel Coronavirus Covid-19 and have been forced to innovate and transform themselves to be more digital, almost overnight.

To minimise the chance of getting infected by the virus, end consumers clearly prefer more of the non-touch payment options such as ‘tap-on-phone’ and link based payments on their smartphone.

“When it comes to merchants, solutions such as automated fulfilment of service requests on mobile phones that also indicate business performance are on the rise. Additionally, innovative technologies are being leveraged to enable merchant locations to act as points where customers can pay bills and withdraw cash as opposed to having to stand in line to pay bills and/or withdraw cash” said Srini Krish, President, Fiserv Global Services.

The largest multinational financial services corporation Visa has also experienced that the Covid-19 pandemic and personal safety concerns have brought a shift in consumer behaviour with a preference for safe, digital, less-touch payments.

“In order to bring new consumers as well as businesses into the digital ecosystem, Visa is working with very innovative fintechs for scaling asset light infrastructure – like Tap to Phone solutions that enable merchants to accept contactless card payments through an app on their smartphones – and to drive affordability at checkout through our EMI at POS solution. We have brought tokenisation to the market that replaces sensitive account information with a unique token for digital transactions, that is now available on Google Pay,” said Arvind Ronta, Head of Products, India & South Asia, Visa.

“We also launched Visa Safe Click to make ecommerce more seamless and secure for Indian cardholders. On the issuance front, Visa is also helping issuers pivot to digital onboarding processes like video KYC and is now exploring ways to facilitate instant payments and enable easy access to credit for small businesses, which is going to be key to reigniting the economy,” he added.

While convenience and the ease of use, along with the incentivisation to customers in the form of cashbacks and offers, are driving digital payments adoption in India, the ongoing pandemic has reinforced the role of new financial technologies in improving business efficiency in this competitive world.

“At Pine Labs, we are spearheading this digital payments transformation through our innovative products. Our technology prowess helped us in responding to the need of the hour and we managed to launch the ePOS by Pine Labs app within the first week of the national lockdown 1.0. Using this app our merchant partners providing essential services were able to quickly transform their Android smartphone into a payment acceptance device. The ePOS app provided them the ability to accept remote and contactless payments through debit/credit cards, UPI, wallets, etc,” said Kush Mehra, Chief Business Officer, Pine Labs.

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