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COVID has accelerated changes in payments such that we’re already in a different landscape – and companies urgently need to make sure they’re ready.

COVID has changed payments for good

Amidst the tragedies and challenges we’ve lived through in the last six months, says Kriya Patel, CEO of Transact Payments Limited, one emerging theme is how COVID has accelerated existing trends – like working from home – and changed our lives in the process.

Payments is no different: there has been rapid and comprehensive change in our business – and plenty of opportunities to embrace. But the pace of change is such that we need to be ready now for what’s already here.

A few quick examples show how different things are today compared to six months ago. Bain & Company, among others, estimate 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. And of course, e-commerce has skyrocketed as people have been locked down, growing by 146% across the US and Canada alone in Q1 2020.

Of course, there are downsides: as transactions have gone digital, fraudsters have seen opportunities, and fraud has migrated into the mobile channel. ACI Worldwide tell us that mobile fraud attempts were up by 13% between March and April this year. Sectors like food delivery and pre-pay to pick up goods have been among the hardest hit as their defences were not as robust as banks, for instance.

Amid all this doom and gloom, our message at TPL is that there are fantastic opportunities there for organisations that can embrace change quickly enough. Since February, we’ve helped a government organisation switch their benefits payments from cash to electronic payment. Apart from delivering more efficient payments in a time of crisis, our government client has also brought thousands of vulnerable and underbanked people into the digital world, enabling them to access benefits online.

We also worked with a German SME client to switch their corporate payments from cards to mobile and online channels. Again, this has brought improved efficiency and faster settlement times – but in addition, it’s given our client access to a wealth of new data about their payments that will help them when it comes to corporate financing and insurance, offering investors and insurers access to much richer data about their operations.

As the changes brought about by COVID settle down and become permanent, winning organisations are going to adapt rapidly and effectively to the new environment. COVID has accelerated another theme, with a lot of companies making changes they’d been thinking about for some time. When it comes to payments, the best way to make change happen quickly – possibly the only really effective way – is to work with experienced service aggregators who can assess exactly what you need and deliver those requirements on time and to budget.

Regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission, Transact Payments Limited (TPL) has built a reputation as the go-to experts for payment and card solutions. For more, please visit: www.transactpaymentsltd.com

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