Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

We use cookies on our website to give you the best online experience. Please know that if you continue to browse on our site, you agree to this use. You can always block or disable cookies using your browser settings. To find out more, please review our privacy policy.

About


Take On Payments, a blog sponsored by the Retail Payments Risk Forum of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, is intended to foster dialogue on emerging risks in retail payment systems and enhance collaborative efforts to improve risk detection and mitigation. We encourage your active participation in Take on Payments and look forward to collaborating with you.

Comment Standards:
Comments are moderated and will not appear until the moderator has approved them.

Please submit appropriate comments. Inappropriate comments include content that is abusive, harassing, or threatening; obscene, vulgar, or profane; an attack of a personal nature; or overtly political.

In addition, no off-topic remarks or spam is permitted.

January 31, 2022

Quarterly Payments Data for 2020 Reflect Pandemic's Early Impact

Cast your mind back to spring 2020, the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. With my apologies for the bad flashback, did you change how and where you shopped that spring? Maybe you ordered groceries online for the first time. Maybe you decided to skip browsing at your favorite clothing store. Maybe you exchanged eating out for ordering in.

You can see glimmers of your behavior—and that of consumers and businesses here in the United States—by looking at fluctuations in the mix of credit and debit card payments made remotely and in person in spring 2020.

Perhaps you remember making fewer in-person payments in spring 2020 because you were reluctant to be out and about, you worked at home, or businesses were closed. The Federal Reserve Payments StudyOff-site link (FRPS) recently reported that the number of in-person card payments dropped 19 percent from the first quarter of 2020 to the second.

Perhaps you moved some shopping online. The number of remote payments (including purchases and bills) was up 18 percent from Q1 to Q2 2020.

You can see the combined effect of these changes in the chart below. As a percentage of general-purpose card payments by number, in-person payments dropped from more than 68 percent in the first quarter to less than 60 percent in Q2 (shown by the red line in the chart below).

In-person payments as a share of all card payments recovered somewhat in later quarters to total 64 percent of all general-purpose card payments for the year 2020 (the blue line in the chart), a substantial drop from 72 percent in 2019.

chart 01 of 01: Share of payments made using a mobile telephone

The December report, Developments in Noncash Payments for 2019 and 2020: Findings from the Federal Reserve Payments StudyOff-site link, also contains quarterly data for depository institution accounts with digital wallet activity and with P2P activity using bank-sponsored apps.