Six in ten US merchants now accept contactless payments

Mobile contactless payment in a shop
ADOPTION: The report reveals that the Covid-19 pandemic is driving consumer use of contactless

The percentage of merchants in the USA that now accept contactless payments has risen to 58% from 40% last year, while those accepting mobile payments from digital wallets has gone up to 56% from last year’s 44%, according to research released by the National Retail Federation (NRF).

The State of Retail Payments study, conducted by the NRF with market research company Forrester, found that 67% of US retailers now accept some form of touch-free payment.

“Since January, no-touch payments have increased for 69% of retailers surveyed. Among retailers that had implemented contactless payments, 94% expect the increase to continue over the next 18 months,” the NRF states.

Of the US consumers surveyed, 19% said they made an in-store digital payment for the first time in May, with 62% of those using their mobile phone and 56% using a contactless card.

Some 67% said they were “satisfied with the experience” and 57% said they would continue to use contactless and mobile payment methods after the Covid-19 pandemic.

The survey also found that processing fees for contactless payments were the top concern for 67% of US retailers, followed by cyber security and data privacy risks (65%), greater fraud (63%) and increased chargebacks on disputed purchases (61%).

Commenting on the findings, NRF vice president Leon Buck said: “Health experts say there is no clear evidence that Covid-19 is transmitted by cash or credit cards, but retailers are putting health and safety first and have rolled out a variety of no-touch payment options in order to err on the side of caution.

“While mobile payments and contactless cards have accounted for a minority of payments in the past, the pandemic has clearly driven consumers to change their behaviour and retailers to accelerate their adoption of the technology.”

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