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The business world has been impacted majorly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The biggest impact is in the fall of discretionary spending and therefore demand revival has emerged as a major concern now. In fact, as per a recent McKinsey survey of consumers in India, China, and Indonesia, discretionary spending in retail categories plummeted by as much as 90 percent at the peak of COVID-19 related lockdowns.1
During the lockdown, economic activities across the world saw a near-standstill, but now that economy is gradually resuming, there has been a considerable acceleration in economic activity. An interesting insight fast-emerging is the rising consumer reliance on digital payments and more specifically contactless modes of digital payments for a possible fear of contracting Coronavirus. In India, at 13.4 billion, Unified Payments Interface (UPI) recorded its highest ever monthly transactions2. Furthermore, 199 million transactions worth INR 2.06 lakhs were done through IMPS in the month of June3.
The COVID-19 pandemic can be a gamer changer when it comes to digital payments adoption in the country. During the crisis, the use of digital payments has clearly increased, a lot of which can be credited to a shift in the consumer behaviour.
The use of digital payments at the point of sale can help in limiting contact-based transactions such as the use of cash and allow businesses to operate with minimum risk.
Owing to the current situation, most businesses have quickly adapted to the changing environment and have upgraded their payment infrastructure at the point of sale to meet the needs of the consumers. As a pioneering payments player with over two decades of rich experience, at Pine Labs we adapted quickly to the changing world around us and delivered solutions that matter to merchants and meet the needs of the day. Our ePOS product, introduced during lockdown 1.0 was aimed at assisting merchants engaged in providing essential services accept payments quickly by converting their Android smartphone into a payment acceptance device. Another product that helps merchants in accepting contactless modes of payment is Plutus QR, a quick scan and pay solution using a static QR code.
The post COVID-19 world is fast-evolving and driving consumer behavior, be it their spending behaviour or growing preference of digital and contactless payments. The leaders and laggards of the future will depend on how fast businesses are able to adapt to these changes. While this crisis has been extremely challenging in all aspects, it has provided the much-needed impetus to digital payments in the country.
1 Source: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/retail/our-insights/an-early-view-of-post-covid-19-discretionary-spending-in-asia
2 and 3 Source: At 1.34 billion, UPI transactions in June beat February's
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