Due to Covid, customers are fully foregoing money

Not wanting to touch anything has a dramatic impact on consumer habits.

In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, Americans are giving up cash almost exclusively in favor of “tap and go” transactions and after years of reluctance have finally introduced contactless and digital payment methods.

Fewer and fewer adults are using more US currency printed or minted at all. About 3 in 10 Americans said they would not make purchases with cash in a typical week, up from a quarter in 2015, according to the Pew Research Center.

The US Mint has asked the public to start using coins again. However, the possibilities for this are always less.

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Since the beginning of the pandemic, more retailers have turned to e-commerce, including the ability to pay online and pick up on the roadside, even avoiding the touch card readers, according to the National Retail Federation. Overall, 67% of retailers now accept some form of contactless payment.

“We’ve had several years of innovation at once,” said Ted Rossman, industry analyst at CreditCards.com.

According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates America’s largest urban transit network, from January on all New York City subways and buses at turnstiles, drivers could tap a contactless bank card or mobile wallet to pay for fares.

Gas stations, grocery stores, pharmacies and even agricultural stalls are changing nationwide and are accelerating the move away from cash in favor of contactless payments.

“There’s a whole infrastructure now that will last beyond the pandemic,” Rossman said.

More than half, or 51%, of Americans are currently using some form of contactless payment, which Mastercard Contactless Consumer Polling says includes tap-and-go credit cards and digital wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay.

As a result, the value for tap-to-pay transactions rose more than 100% year over year, a separate report from Visa found.

According to Cyndie Martini, CEO of Member Access Processing, which processes debit card payments for credit unions, for the first time consumers are making an effort to find retailers offering contactless payment options, “Leap Frog,” she said.

“This is an unprecedented change,” she said. “Now that consumers are used to it, there is no going back.

“The continued rise in contactless will only grow exponentially,” added Martini.

Now that consumers are used to it, there is no going back.

Cyndie Martini

CEO of Member Access Processing

Contactless and digital payment methods not only require less physical interaction in the public health crisis, but are also considered to be much more secure than other payment methods.

They are equipped with a near-field communication antenna that can be used for proximity payments via radio waves. There is also a dynamic cryptogram or code that is unique to each individual transaction.

This is similar to smart card smart technology, also known as EMV, which can process card transactions with embedded smart chips – except that it’s much faster.

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