Bi-Weekly Roundup 3/11: Latest Payments Industry News and Trends

The global COVID-19 pandemic changed processes in many industries, and the payment industry was no exception. This edition of our bi-weekly payment news roundup highlights some of the many recent changes in payment technology and processing.

Report: Time for Biometric Security on Contactless Cards

Payments Cards & Mobile details a new whitepaper showing that 83% of consumers in the United Kingdom are concerned about possible COVID-19 exposure when making in-store payments. The paper also notes that, as contactless payment transaction limits increase in the UK, 55.3% of consumers are concerned about the security of their credit cards.

One security feature that might give consumers more confidence in payment card security is a biometric authentication system - the whitepaper notes that 80% of UK consumers say they want a biometric security factor on their next payment card.

Pandemic Fueled 32.4% E-Commerce Surge in 2020

With more people staying home last year due to the pandemic, PaymentsDive highlighted the increase in e-Commerce shopping. Notable statistics include:

  • U.S. retail e-Commerce sales last year totaled $791.7 billion, a 32.4% surge over 2019.
  • E-Commerce sales now account for 14% of all sales, up from 11% in 2019. Total retail sales for the year increased by 3.4%.
  • Although still strong, online sales growth began to ease at the end of 2020, as some states began to lift stay-at-home restrictions.

Stimulus Payments Fuel Surge in ACH Transactions

As we noted in our last payments news roundup, ACH transactions surged in 2020, increasing by 8.2% to 28.6 billion transactions. PaymentsDive notes that this increase was driven largely by the stimulus payments provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

In 2020, ACH payments for online e-Commerce increased by 15% to 7.7 billion transactions. Nacha, the governing organization for the ACH network, expects rapid expansion of ACH payments to continue.

Pandemic Accelerates Adoption of Contactless Technology on Public Transit

With stay-at-home orders in effect during a large part of 2020, the National Transit Database reports that between February and November of 2020, the number of U.S. public transit users declined by 62%, or 482 million rides.

As public transit agencies try to increase those numbers again, they are looking at their sanitation policies and ways to enable social distancing. PaymentsJournal notes that more and more public transit users are now expecting mobile or contactless payment options on public transit. Offering these payment methods allows public transit agencies to ultimately reduce their own costs, while also providing increased accessibility and functionality for users.

Report: Hospitals Turn To Card-On-File Solutions To Fix Payment Collection Pains

With the switch to mostly virtual/remote work, even healthcare providers were affected, with many beginning to offer telehealth appointments. details how this also meant implementing payment technology that enabled new ways for patients to pay. Adopting the card-on-file payment method allowed many practices to be able to collect payments without having to track down patients for payment after a telehealth appointment.

Adding telehealth services meant many practices now had an additional vendor to pay - the provider of the telehealth software. Paying those vendors with paper checks can be time-consuming and expensive for accounts payable departments, as well as affect cash flow, so many providers switched to other methods such as digital B2B payments.


While payment trends are constantly changing, the COVID-19 pandemic has definitely sped up the timeline when it comes to payment innovation. Global Payments Integrated can help you keep up with these changes. Contact us today for your integrated payment needs, and check back in two weeks for more of the latest payments industry news.