The Effect of COVID-19 on Payments Volume and the Approaching Holiday Season

According to a December 2020 filing from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), payments volume for the United States experienced an increase of 6% in terms of its year-over-year.

Debit also continued on with the trend of strong growth with an increase of 19% in November. As for credit, it decreased by 5% in the same month. With the exclusion of travel, card-not-present went up by 27% year-over-year. Meanwhile, card-present decreased 7%. 

There was also a low growth in spend by merchant category compared to the previous month, however, retail goods experienced a positive outcome thanks to the approaching holiday season and the need for consumers to purchase presents. 

According to the document, the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic played a part in such findings. For instance, trends of the international market were varied due to the restrictions in place to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Another cause in varied trends was the holiday timing in the month of November. 

For countries located across Europe, such as the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy, the restrictions related to COVID-19 supported domestic card-not-present payments volume. However, it should be noted that the overall growth of payments volume slowed down. 

As for Hong Kong and India, events Singles Day and those related to Diwali helped increase sales. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates, Australia, Brazil, and Japan experienced growth for domestic spend that was either consistent with or surpassed that of October. 

When compared to October, the ever-rising popularity of ecommerce, especially amid COVID-19, contributed to the improvement of cross-border volume as well. It went up by four points thanks to the increase of 20% year-over-year in November ecommerce spend. 

The unprecedented pandemic attributed to card-present and card-not-present in terms of travel-related cross-border volume, too. There was a decline of 65%. Meanwhile, the volume dropped 19% year-over-year in the same month. 

As COVID-19 continues to have an effect on businesses and payments, merchants should do what they can to ensure a smooth and profitable holiday season. Merchant Broker is here to provide that support and guidance through competitive payment processing rates and unrivaled customer service. 

To receive more information, contact a professional representative today at either 1-888-668-0733 or


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