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COVID-19 serves as eCommerce catalyst for North American consumers

Global data from Paysafe reveals US and Canadian consumers are embracing online commerce and contactless payments in the face of the coronavirus

May 04, 2020

Houston, Texas  Over half (54%) of US consumers and 44% of Canadians are shopping far more online during the current pandemic, according to new research from Paysafe,  a leading specialized payments platform. The company’s data reveals that North American consumers have also increased their use of contactless card payments in store.

The sharp rise in eCommerce in North America has been driven by two main factors, according to Paysafe’s latest ‘Lost in Transaction’ research carried out in the US, Canada and five European countries (UK, Germany, Italy, Austria, and Bulgaria) between April 8th-15th, 2020. The primary driver is the need to replace in-store shopping amidst lockdowns (motivating 54% of US consumers and 44% of Canadians).

The second factor supporting eCommerce uptake is the need to buy specialty items consumers would not have needed before the crisis (motivating 46% of Americans and 33% of Canadians). This surge has extended as far as new online consumers, with 25% of Americans shopping for the first time.

The data suggests the pandemic could mark a lasting shift in consumer sentiment, with half (49%) of US consumers expecting to maintain their increased level of online shopping this time next year, even if the virus’ impact abates.

Credit cards continue to be North Americans’ preferred online payment method, with 56% of Americans and 67% of Canadians using one in the last month. Nonetheless, the alternative method of digital wallets has been used over the same time period by 33% of North Americans.

eCommerce security and fraud concerns remain. Half (50%) of US consumers still feel uncomfortable entering financial data to make an online payment.

Conversely, in brick-and-mortar stores COVID-19 has raised fears around the contagion risk of cash, with 55% of all North Americans worried about handling cash, and the same amount planning to reduce usage in future. Despite concerns, US consumers are more cash-loyal than Canadians, with 75% of Americans admitting they would be worried if they could no longer access cash compared to 64% of Canadians.

The crisis is also having a direct influence on consumer attitudes to contactless payments, with 63% of Americans and Canadians using this payment method more than ever before. This looks set to be an enduring shift, with 60% of North Americans stating that they are now more comfortable using contactless in the future.

Also, in store, mobile wallets have gained support in the US due to their advanced security features. Forty-four percent of Americans view Apple Pay or Google Pay as even more secure than contactless cards due to biometric payment authentication.

Daniel Kornitzer, Chief Business Development Officer at Paysafe, said: “This unprecedented time is making many North American consumers re-evaluate their attitudes to online payments, in what will likely be a permanent change. With the rapid growth in eCommerce, the need for robust payment solutions for the card-not-present space is stronger than ever.

Kornitzer added: “In the short term, as we continue to navigate the challenges of the current situation, consumers need access to secure and reliable traditional and alternative payment solutions to help them continue their daily lives as safely as possible.”


About the research

Paysafe’s ongoing Lost in Transaction research reports explore and benchmark payment and financial opinions of both consumers and businesses. 

Paysafe commissioned Sapio Research to conduct this particular Lost in Transaction study in March and April this year using an online questionnaire. The final results include responses from 8,000 consumers across the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria and Italy (over 1,000 respondents per market).

About Paysafe

Paysafe Group (Paysafe) is a leading specialized payments platform. Its core purpose is to enable businesses and consumers to connect and transact seamlessly through industry-leading capabilities in payment processing, digital wallet, card issuing and online cash solutions.

With over 20 years of online payment experience, an annualized transactional volume of over US $85 billion, and approximately 3,000 employees located in 12+ global locations, Paysafe connects businesses and consumers across 200 payment types in over 40 currencies around the world.

Delivered through an integrated platform, Paysafe solutions are geared toward mobile-initiated transactions, real-time analytics and the convergence between brick-and-mortar and online payments.

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For media enquiries, please contact:
Nick Say
Manager, Corporate Communications, North America, Paysafe Group
Email: Phone: +1 514 452-8747