Payments in Times of a Global Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the world’s biggest industries, and the financial industry is not exempt.

Payments infrastructures and ecosystems are expected to support the continuity of bill payments, point-of-sale payments, salary disbursements and other essential payment transactions amidst national lockdowns and social distancing enforcements by governments across the globe.

Meanwhile, cautions of catching the virus from cash or card terminals have been advised, and people are resorting to contactless and safe payment channels such as mobile payments, mobile check solutions and remittance management systems instead of traditional channels like ATM cash withdrawals and bank branch deposits. As these digital payment options offer contactless and secure transacting, people are also demanding them for small day to day payments.

These spiraling needs are anticipated to be met by financial institutions, merchants and service centers such as exchange houses, grocery centers and medical facilities including labs and clinics as a start, whereas the pressure is mounting on banks, central banks and payment service providers to expedite the conversion to contactless payments on countrywide scales, with each day presenting new and rapid responses by the financial body to ensure business continuity and citizen safety.

The demand for mobile payments has already spiked during the global pandemic however, other contactless payment solutions witnessing increased demand in the market include mobile check deposit and issuance solutions and remittance management systems. Solutions such as Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) are also today being seriously considered by central banks, some of which have already headed towards the pilot phase, acknowledging the massive value CBDCs offers in times of crisis and thereon.

Whether you are an end-user, merchant or a financial institution, the drive forward is contactless.

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