New payment habits which will stay with us in the post-pandemic world

In recent years, the consumers’ habits have been shaped by “out-of-home” consumption resulting from such mega-trends as urbanization, high rent prices and small apartments, the availability of the Net connection via almost every device anywhere, the availability of constant communication, etc. For example, in Germany, the number of people frequently going out for lunch or dinner increased from 9.9 million in 2015 to 11.8 million in 2019. However, the coronavirus pandemic has transformed the daily round having forced most consumers to adapt to the new ways of work and leisure. In short, all of the above is a more serious justification for the tired phrase “everything moved into home or online”. It’s important today, when already talking about the use of effective vaccines, to understand whether all these processes were a necessary short-term trend, or the new habits are here to stay.

  1. Online shopping

The coronavirus has become a key driver in the history of the e-commerce market. While quarantine restrictions were introduced all over the world and the work of physical retail was suspended, more and more people were getting used to shopping online, and the business was developing the most convenient way to work with customers in the circumstances concerned. So, according to a Shopify report, over half (54%) of customers around the world shifted more of their spending to online shopping since the pandemic was declared, and 4 out of 5 (79%) consumers plan to shop online regularly in the next six months. The most active users of digital solutions aged 18–34 are crucial to the trend and influence the way the business is done. Many like making purchases via social media, and therefore e-commerce marketers have increased the cost of social media promotion. Many stores have performed a great task and offer quality service. For example, they deliver the customer the items chosen on the site for fitting. I think many who lack time for shopping will like this service. During this year, people had been actively shopping online for food, home furnishings, sports equipment, medicine and clothing. And, according to a Deloitte report, the number of online purchases will continue to be greater than before the pandemic.

2. Food and grocery delivery

I think everyone knows about the positive trends in the development of delivery services in 2020. Just walking down the street, especially in the heart of Kiev, you cannot but notice the number of people with the bright delivery services backpacks. According to Glovo, this market in Ukraine has grown 6–7 times in 2020 yoy, and the delivery from supermarkets in 2020 has grown almost 15–18 times. During lockdowns, users got used to ordering food and other goods via delivery apps, and even with the relaxation of quarantine measures, people continued to actively use them. Delivery services didn’t get confused and quickly connected new cities, expanded the ​​activity area and added functions, reaching more and more new users. This habit has become so beloved that the delivery of takeaway food from restaurants is expected to grow by another 3–4 times in 2021, products from supermarkets by 6–8 times and other goods as well.

3. The demand for different payment methods — refusal of cash

Cashless transactions, online and contactless payments became a necessity in 2020, but by 2021 they have become a convenient and favorite habit. Users need today seamless solutions and new payment methods. Apart from the fintech, this habit is also important for retail. In 2020, the benefits of the multichannel business became apparent, and a significant part of retail went online in addition to offline. The digital sales channels must include today the maximum versatility of payment methods and a seamless consumer journey. Customers got accustomed to fast cashless payments, and this habit is here to stay.

4. Leisure

As the cinemas, concert halls, museums and other entertainment centers were closed, people were forced to organize their leisure activities at home. According to Deloitte, 38% of consumers say that during the pandemic they’ve tried out a new digital media or streaming movies subscription, or for example played video games for the first time. Two-thirds of those people say they’ll continue to use the services after the pandemic, and 27% of consumers plan to subscribe to other new services. The games became the most popular pastime. According to a Deloitte survey, 48% of those surveyed have played video games since mid-March. So the volume of “cloud” gaming in 2020 amounted to $585 billion, which is three times more than a year ago.

As to sport, many people have successfully got used to training at home or outdoors. Moreover, it turned out to be less time consuming and quite effective. The demand for most workout apps has more than doubled.

In 2020, people learnt to have fun at home and use the time at home profitably. The researches show that new habits will stay with us for a long time.

Of course, many other habits, as remote communication, the constant use of masks and sanitizers, etc, have developed. However, these habits are unlikely to stay with us for long after the stabilization of the epidemiological situation. For example, only 16.5% of those surveyed by Deloitte will continue to communicate with friends and family through various applications. In any event, people need live communication and discussion of issues. And even those companies that have switched to constant remote work have left their offices for meetings.

CEO of the international payment system LEO, the shareholder of IBOX Bank