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Written by Cyndie Martini
on December 22, 2020

2020 may very well be the year that contactless payments finally break out in the U.S. Unlike other countries around the globe, contactless payments never really caught on in the U.S. In 2018, they were only 3% of card use, despite banks' best efforts to encourage their customers to use the technology. That's compared to 64% in the U.K. and 96% in South Korea, according to a study by A. T. Kearney.

Like so many other trends pre-COVID, 2020 has only accelerated the move to contactless payments in the U.S. From March 2019 to June 2020, contactless payments in the U.S. saw a 150% increase. Contactless payments aren't expected to slow down. Juniper Research forecasts that by 2024 that global contactless payments will reach $6 trillion, compared to $2 trillion in 2020.

How have contactless payments faired since the pandemic began? An August 2020 study by National Retail Federation and Forrester found that:

  • One in five have made a contactless payment for the first time during the pandemic.
  • Of those consumers, 62% used mobile wallets and 56% used contactless cards.
  • 57% said they would continue using contactless payments post-pandemic.

PSCU has taken another step forward in encouraging cardholders to go contactless. On December 10th, PSCU launched Digital Issuance, which is available to Owner credit unions. It lets cardholders use their card even if their physical card is lost or stolen. This removes many of the inconveniences of having to wait for a replacement card. While waiting for their card, members are able to continue using their card through any of the three major digital wallets — Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

“A lost or stolen card can be a major inconvenience for cardholders and credit unions alike. In a lost/stolen situation, not only are members forced to wait for a replacement plastic to arrive in the mail, but credit unions also experience a decrease in transaction revenue,” said Cindy McGinness, vice president, Digital Experience at PSCU, to Credit Union Business News. “This problematic scenario will become obsolete for Owner credit unions and their members through the use of PSCU Digital Issuance, which provides the secure, real-time ability for members to continue transacting without interruption.”

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