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The use of digital payments for in-store shopping has surged in Europe due to the COVID-19 pandemic: new yStats.com report

The latest publication from Germany-based online research firm yStats.com, “Europe POS Payment Methods 2020 & COVID-19’S Impact,” tell of the changes in point of sale payment practices in recent months, with emphasis on the effect that the worldwide health crisis has introduced. Yücel Yelken, yStats.com founder and CEO comments on the findings of the report: “the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated a move to alternative payment methods which is likely to persist into the future.”

The COVID-19 outbreak speeds the adoption of digital payment methods in Europe

The payment preference of consumers at the point of sale is being transformed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Several surveys synthesized in the new yStats.com report indicate that European countries are in the process of changing the way they pay during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, Germany saw double-digit growth in the number of cashless transactions during the pandemic. Furthermore, the reduction in the use of cash in Europe is largely contributed by the concern that cash may spread the virus. Among the alternatives to cash, various other payment methods are preferred by consumers in Europe.

The card payment trend has further strengthened in Europe during the COVID-19 crisis

Besides the traditional cash payment methods, one of the alternative payment methods that European countries saw a spurt during the pandemic is contactless card payments. The acceptance of card payments by merchants as well as consumers was already growing before COVID-19 hit the world and has been accelerated by the outbreak. One of the examples is also included in the yStats.com report that indicates a significant share of users in France were using contactless card payments in January 2020. This trend further increased as a notable percentage of consumers in France increased the use of contactless payments amid the pandemic.

Consumers in Europe have reduced the use of cash when making payments, during the pandemic

Though the move away from cash is a global phenomenon, there are some country and regional variations. The UK has been adopting cashless payments before the pandemic, and this trend further accelerated during the COVID-19 health crisis. However, Germany widely used cash for in-store payments before the COVID-19 outbreak, but according to the yStats.com report, digital payments have recently been on the rise. The publication also includes data on the major economies of the European region that have seen a shift away from cash in payment preference during the health crisis.