Covid-19 Concerns Turn More Older Users to Digital Payments

Covid-19 Concerns Turn More Older Users to Digital Payments

May 21, 2020

People over 50 are the fastest-growing segment of users turning to PayPal due to stay-at-home orders around the country. CNBC reports the company has seen an older audience using the digital payment platform. Concerns over the spread of germs through cash use and the need to shop electronically were both cited as possible factors prompting the growth in older users.

“This cohort of ‘silver tech’ helped PayPal’s total payment volume recover back to ‘pre-Covid’ levels, CFO John Rainey said at the J.P. Morgan Global Technology, Media and Communications Conference last week,” the CNBC story notes.

Rainey also said the demographic shift has occurred because many people of all ages were forced to shop online and pay friends or family members digitally amid the pandemic. The boost in payment volume was also thanks to the larger purchase sizes by that demographic, said Rainey. 

The increase follows similar trends reported by other financial and payment firms. Data from Mastercard recently found more consumers are using contactless payments because of the spread of Covid-19. Their global consumer survey finds nearly eight out of 10 (79 percent) respondents say they use contactless payments. Between February and March, contactless transactions grew twice as fast as non-contactless transactions in the grocery and drug store categories.

Mastercard said the push to contactless is driven by perceptions of safety and convenience. Globally, nearly half of respondents (46 percent) said they have swapped out their top-of-wallet card for one that offers contactless. The number is even higher, 52 percent, among people under 35 years old.

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Joan Goodchild

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