The summer ahead will be anything but typical as we continue to see the massive ripple effect that COVID-19 has had on the global economy and people everywhere. The pandemic will pull forward into 2020 several years’ worth of digital transformation. As many of us adjust to work and life at home there has been a worldwide shift toward digital solutions – changing the way we live, work and shop with implications that extend far into the future. With this change in behavior we’ve seen the ways sellers have raced to adapt under extraordinary pressure.
In our efforts to help businesses recover, survive and thrive beyond the pandemic, Visa has recognized six truths that are informing our product priorities and how we support sellers along the path to recovery. They start with the massive consumer shift to digital-first and touchless commerce. In Latin America, for example, 13 million people made their first-ever online purchase in the first three months of 2020. And here in the U.S., where contactless payments had been steadily increasing before COVID-19, we are now seeing them dramatically increase as a necessary, practical means for touchless in-store payment experiences. In essential segments like grocery and pharmacy, we’re seeing 100% year-over-year growth in tap to pay transactions at checkout.
We also recognize that buyers, sellers, partners, and employees need and expect secure, immediate access to funds digitally, that businesses need the right data and insights to drive their decisions, and that buyers and sellers alike are seeking transparency and protections.
A key resource for businesses is CyberSource, a Visa solution that can help elevate the checkout experience to become touchless for those businesses that have relied on in-store transactions. CyberSource worked with a service business to enable customers to book an appointment and pay via a link sent to the customer’s mobile. For larger businesses like supermarket chains, CyberSource’s fraud management tools have helped prevent the hoarding of essential goods by enabling limits on purchases of high-demand items like hand sanitizer and toilet paper.
While many types and sizes of businesses have been impacted, small businesses are in a particularly tough situation. We’re seeing the need for many small businesses to simply get online. Pre-COVID, less than half of U.S. small businesses reported having any online presence at all. Visa efforts include helping SMBs establish a digital presence and enable ecommerce capabilities. Authorize.Net is a Visa solution that provides tools to help small businesses build digital, touchless payment solutions and manage new and unique fraud situations.
Deploying easy to adapt touchless payment technology – rapidly, and at scale – is critical for global economic recovery. We provide best practices and support for merchants who want to configure contactless point-of-sale terminals to limit interaction, including switching to verbal capture of customer loyalty information, providing electronic receipts and removing unnecessary touch prompts such as confirmation of purchase amount.
Enabling touchless payments in store has gained dramatic momentum. Nine of the top 10 U.S. issuers are rolling out tap to pay Visa cards. Further, Visa surpassed 190 million tap to pay cards in the U.S. – more than any other country on the globe.
The pandemic also has driven a significant uptick in disputes between buyers and sellers as concert venues, sports arenas, travel destinations and more shut down. This rise in disputes has been compounded by the reality that many sellers, issuers, and acquirers face a lack of resources and personnel to combat the spike in disputes. In these situations, it is important to have the right tools in place and be able to implement them quickly. Through Verifi, we offer services that can help prevent and resolve disputes before they become chargebacks or impact valuable customer relationships.
With recovery for millions of sellers never more urgent, Visa is committed to helping them not only get back on their feet but thrive in our new future, with initiatives that are widely available and flexible to help meet today’s challenges and elevate innovation for businesses of any size.