Payments and payment processes have been significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The trends in spending and the payment methods used during these challenging economic times are both surprising in some respects yet familiar in others.
In similarities, the shifts we’ve seen in overall card spending are not too different from how things played out during the 2008 recession and housing crisis. Spending was down, and any cash spending switched over to debit cards for items like groceries and outstanding debts.
In differences, areas aside from essentials have experienced a large increase in spending, such as home improvement. So many people were stuck at home due to the coronavirus-induced lockdowns, prompting more redesigns and home-improvement projects. Other spending areas that have seen big increases are gaming and streaming services. Even restaurants and dining are beginning to make a comeback.
One other new trend is an increase in debit card payments for rental cars, which has seen incredible double-digit growth since June. Ride sharing and public transportation are less desirable during a pandemic, so those who don’t own cars are looking for new alternatives to get around town when they must.
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