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During the COVID-19 outbreak and lockdown, we’ve seen the way people alter their behaviours when it comes to paying for goods and services, whether this is buying fuel or making business purchases.
As we emerge from the lockdown, we’re likely to see an increase in purchases and transactions. Therefore, these changes can support in stemming the spread of the virus if people are cognizant of which payment methods are the most hygienic and safe.
Reducing cash usage
To protect the health of their staff, companies should reduce the amount of cash being handled by their employees helping to stem the spread germs from person to person. Instead, they should have the option to pay using chip and PIN, provided there is capacity for regular disinfecting of keypads, and contactless card payments.
With card payments becoming an essential way to pay during the pandemic, many banks and card schemes have already put measures in place to support their use by increasing the contactless payment limit from £30 to £45, although it may take time for all retailers and card schemes to fully transition to this increase.
The surge of eCommerce
This is a very positive step for payments in-store or while on the road. However, the key benefit of card and online payments as a whole, has been realised across eCommerce which has seen a huge surge in online payments. eCommerce sales in the UK and globally have increased since the lockdown, for both consumers and businesses.
During these critical times it has enabled employees to purchase what they need from the safety and comfort of their own homes, therefore dramatically reducing the chances for increased exposure as no physical interaction is required.
Similarly, with many retailers closed during this time, the need to purchase through alternative suppliers has eased the burden on those companies who otherwise would have struggled to secure the goods required to maintain operations.
Staying safe when using your cards
With that said, it is essential to be mindful of security and fraud with card purchases. You can read our previous blog, Allstar Insights: How To Combat COVID Fraud, for more information about what actions your business can take.
It’s especially important to remind employees to check expense and procurement policies, which are likely to have changed somewhat due to this crisis. They need to be well-informed about what expenses they’re allowed to incur, and which they are not. Also, it is important to remind them to be vigilant with their online security.
With these new rules in place and shops closing for business due to the lockdown, we’ve already seen cash usage dramatically fall; an excellent first step. But it’s now more important than ever for businesses to take similar measures, whether it’s for their staff and drivers on the road, or paying for goods in-store.