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58% of Americans who have used contactless are more likely to use it now than before the coronavirus

According to a new Amex survey, Americans are increasingly using contactless payments, plus delivery and pickup options, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

American Express

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has changed how an increasing number of Americans expect to pay for purchases in the future. New data from American Express predicts an upsurge in contactless payments for in-store, online or app-based purchases.

In fact, 58% of consumers who have used contactless payments in the past say they are more likely to use them now than ever before, according to the 2020 American Express Digital Payments survey

The survey concludes that consumers' outlook on touch-free payments has been evolving over the past eight months, but now that most of the country shelters in place there is even more incentive to promote public health by tapping a contactless card or using a mobile wallet.

"This survey tells us that U.S. consumers view contactless as faster, safer and more convenient than other forms of payments, which is becoming especially important as people are avoiding contact and are considering how to resume in-store purchasing," J.J. Kieley, VP of Payments Consulting Group at American Express, says.

Consumers reported being 16% more likely to use online or app-based payments for curbside pickup and only 7% more likely to pay by phone for pickup.

Here is every method that consumers report they plan to use more:

  • Online/app for curbside pickup: 16% more likely
  • Online/app for delivery: 12% more likely
  • Online/app for in-store pickup: 6% more likely
  • Phone for delivery: 10% more likely
  • Phone for pickup: 7% more likely

These options are a simpler way for consumers to minimize touching surfaces, compared to shopping in-store and paying with cash or a physical card. And if you decide to shop in store, most popular retailers, such as Costco and Target, allow you to tap a contactless card, use a mobile wallet, such as Apple Pay, or scan a loyalty app to pay.

If a merchant doesn't accept contactless payments and you swipe or insert your card in-store, you may want to clean your card after each use to prevent the spread of germs.

And if you're unsure if you have a card with touch-free capability, look for a wave-like symbol on the front of it. If you don't have this symbol, you can call your card issuer to request a contactless card or simply wait until your card expires and you're mailed a new one. (Keep in mind, not all card issuers offer contactless cards.)

Amex has led the shift toward contactless even before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Back in July 2019, Amex began issuing contactless cards for all new U.S. consumer and small business Amex credit cards, such as the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. The same is true for new U.S. corporate Amex cards issued October 2019 and later.

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