Worldwide Pandemic Accelerates the Need for Digital Solutions

The worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has undoubtedly changed consumer shopping habits. As social distancing measures, as well as health and safety measures continue to become more prioritized to ensure the wellness of consumers, merchants have been turning to digital solutions when it comes to payment processing solutions. 

This is in addition to ensuring that ecommerce stores are running optimally to ensure smooth transactions during the digital checkout process. According to an April 2020 Mills Agency survey, it was found that 73% of adults in the United States were more likely to use digital payment methods and online banking while they partake in social distancing. Additionally, respondents who were earning more than $50,000 on an annual basis were even more likely to make digital transactions. 

A survey by J.D. Power had similar findings, according to eMarketer. It was found that more than 33% adults in the United States stated they would use online tools and their mobile devices for banking purposes. Meanwhile, 23% of those surveyed said they planned to do cheque deposits via their smartphones more often. While 20% of Americans said they would decrease their amount of in-person visits to their banks, 18% said they planned to educate themselves more about different types of online banking services. 

Recent news about the Bank of Canada also helps uphold the shift towards online transactions. The financial institution, for example, has begun the exploration of products such as a central bank digital currency (CBDC). However, according to a Reuters report, Deputy Governor Tim Lane noted during a panel that there has not been a specific time frame for its launch. 

“The main point, I think, is this is all looking a lot more urgent because of the speed with which technology is evolving,” Lane said. “With COVID, we’ve seen an acceleration of the shift of activities online and that suggests if we want to be ready to develop any kind of digital central bank product, we need to move faster than we thought was going to be necessary,” he added. 

Transaction could be streamlined with the existence of a digital currency and the avoidance of a payment card for online transactions as well. Reuters additionally noted that Lane once said the  Bank of Canada could launch a CBDC should a private cryptocurrency cause concerns about privacy. 

As financial institutions work on digital currencies to help meet the needs of a world changed by the pandemic, private cryptocurrencies such as Facebook’s Libra stablecoin are also gaining notice as payment options. 

The ever-changing shift towards new technologies for smoother transactions require merchants to adapt and learn more about the best payment processing solutions available. Merchant Broker is here to guide businesses through such options and work together with stakeholders in order to find the best solution suited for each given situation.

To receive more information and the best payment processing rates and solutions today, contact Merchant Broker at either 1-888-668-0733 or info@merchantbroker.com.

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