More than a third of consumers discovered a new payment provider during the Covid-19 crisis, according to Capgemini’s World Payments Report 2020.
The research finds that as of April 2020, 38% of consumers had used a new payment provider, as lockdown demanded a change in how they shopped and transacted.
Anirban Bose, CEO of financial services at Capgemini, claims that Covid-19 quickly created ‘the next normal’, “requiring payment firms to be digital masters overnight,” accelerating innovation as providers sought to deliver “differentiated offerings that emphasised speed, convenience and a superb end-to-end customer experience.”
Capgemini’s wider conclusion is that the Covid-19 pandemic is increasing competition in the banking and payments industries. According to the report, 30% of consumers use Big Tech firms such as Apple, Google and Amazon for payments services, while 50% use a challenger bank.
Covid and cash
The research finds that 64% of consumers say they use contactless payments often and 48% use digital wallets, including QR code-based payments.
This speaks to the oft-stated assumption that the pandemic would accelerate cash usage’s decline, as brick and mortar shops spent several months closed, dramatically increasing the proportion of transactions taking place online.
Even among the retailers that were able to remain open, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, it became commonplace for them to insist their customers paid electronically to minimise the risk of transmitting infection via the exchange of notes and coins. Add WHO report link here.
The report projects that the number of digital wallets will increase to four billion by 2024 from the 2.3bn figure in 2019. Automated payment processes, also known as ‘invisible payments’, are set to for a 51% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2017 and 2022.
Competition and consolidation
The Covid-19 crisis has exposed the inefficiencies of traditional methods of payment in B2B due to the challenges on cash management and liquidity. Corporate treasurers are therefore looking to digital payment methods to mitigate these and other challenges relating to geopolitical uncertainty and interconnected supply chains.
These trends point to “new-wave fintechs” that will “blaze a B2B path” leveraging their experience in the retail space. They will also continue to move into infrastructure to build a stake in emerging payment methods and new business models.
For the time being, at least, Capgemini believes this area will be free of competition from BigTech due to primary focus on the retail market as well as recent anti-trust charges. This could change, however, so banks and fintechs should watch this space.
Fintechs and challenger banks will continue to use their expertise and leverage cloud to make banking and payments nimbler, using increased convenience and personalisation to grow their market share.
Capgemini concludes that the benefits of expanded customer reach, globally scalable solutions and faster-to-market innovation must however be weighed against the drawbacks of increase in competition, price increase and loss of market share.