The COVID-19 outbreak has affected one’s economic and social well-being tremendously. But simultaneously, it has been a key driver of digitalization the world over. Digital payments, particularly mobile payments, have emerged as a means for enterprises and businesses to operate in this new normal. Payments historically had been confined to credit cards, debit cards, or cash. Yet with the advances of smartphones, today, payments can be made by simply taping or waiving a mobile phone over the terminal reader.
Mobile Payments Turning Mainstream
In the wake of the ongoing deadly virus, the lives of countless people have been lost. As per WHO, one of the mechanisms of transmission of this virus has been paper money, and coins passed between a seller and a buyer. Considering the risk of contaminated surfaces, contactless payments, especially mobile payments, are considered a hygienic means of payment as the transaction needs no physical contact. Thus, mobile payments that earlier were considered as a convenient medium have now turned into a necessity, particularly in light of the outbreak, with the social behavior and payment habits of consumers altered drastically. The pandemic has pushed mobile payments into the mainstream.
The crisis has changed how one thinks regarding his payment options. After the initial orders of stay at home in March 2020, the concerns of hygiene over providing payment cards or cash to the cashier and also touching the keypads present in the checkouts of grocery stores quickly drove several retailers and consumers to adopt mobile payments.
The COVID-19 outbreak has shifted businesses, and consumers towards mobile payments, and below are some benefits of such services for businesses,
- Safer- For starters, mobile payments enable consumers to get services and goods they require while quarantining or social distancing. They can do this by making online orders and get products delivered right at their doorsteps. This way customer’s will feel safe sans risking interaction with other people.
- Contactless- Mobile payments mean contactless payments, thus resulting in a lower risk of the virus spreading. This means consumers will not have to touch anything physically apart from the products they purchase.
- Faster- Mobile payment services are convenient while the transactions are faster. In fact, cash in a pickup window indicates line-ups. Mobile payments are quicker and take just a few seconds at the checkout. There are some companies that have begun businesses pre-covid era sans accepting cash for accelerating line-ups during rush hours.
- More Secure- Mobile payment services leave a business with lesser cash on hand which means lesser chances of robbery. Besides, it avoids the danger of having one’s employees deliver huge amounts of money at the bank. Mobile payments have inbuilt security features which limit the amount to be paid or disallow repeated transactions.
- Consumer Incentive Programs- Mobile payments allow businesses to create convenient reward programs as well as a personalized shopping experience.
- Increase Productivity- Mobile payments are transparent, thus making accounting more accurate as well as helping in simplifying one’s sales auditing process. It also means lesser chances of human error, thus reducing resources and time and increasing accuracy.
Just nothing was left untouched by the pandemic that resulted in a tidal wave of transformations across sectors. The payment sector, too, has fallen prey to the deadly virus as it has driven a shift to mobile payment options. In fact, mobile payments are playing a key role in keeping businesses liquid and resilient during uncertain times. Owing to the contact-free, reliable, and convenience feature of m-payment or mobile payment, it has been largely adopted across the globe during times of crisis for reducing the indirect and direct contacts in transactions, thus enabling social distancing in being maintained along facilitating the social economy’s stabilization. There cannot be a more suitable time than the current times to invest in mobile payment services. The COVID-19 pandemic is pushing payment systems into a novel era. In short, this crisis has catapulted the demand for mobile payment methods.