Bank notes can carry viruses, and microorganisms can even transfer to credit cards when point-of-sale terminals serve multiple people. As a result, regulators and government agencies have responded to the coronavirus by limiting cash in circulation and quarantining bank notes. They also are promoting digital payments through measures such as increasing the limit on contactless transactions—for example, from £30 to £45 in the UK. Meanwhile, private digital wallet providers such as Ordo have been waiving fees. And merchants have ramped up their e-commerce, delivery and card-not-present capabilities, often in partnership with providers, such as retailers working with Paytm in India and restaurants working with Paymentsense and Delivery Hero in Europe. By 2025, Bain & Company estimates that adoption of digital payments could accelerate by 5 percentage points to 10 percentage points above what was previously anticipated.
As demand surges for digital payments, providers face new challenges and competition for customers.