The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented public concerns about viral transmission via cash. Central banks report a large increase in queries from the media on the safety of using cash. Countries around the world are being forced to reconsider the use of cash. In fact, it might turn out to be the catalyst that finally brings digital payments fully into the mainstream.
Not surprisingly, the digital-payments industry is already focusing on the opportunities created by the crisis.
Many e-payment providers are falling back on contingency plans put in place to handle seasonal bursts in online shopping, such as Black Friday, in part by tapping additional on-demand capacity in the cloud, industry analysts said.
“The surge is already happening,” Aaron Press, research director for worldwide payment strategies at International Data Corp., said about the sharp increase in e-payments. He said, merchants are dealing with challenges in handling the sheer volume of payment-processing needs, whether their payment services are in-house or third parties.
It is still difficult to foresee what the world will look like after the pandemic, how our habits and routines will be affected, and whether some of the changes we have adopted now will take root. But the decrease of cash transactions will likely continue as the world economy is already in the midst of major change driven by new digital payment solutions and players, like apps and E-wallets in our smartphones.
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