Use of contactless mobile payments — services that once struggled to catch on in the U.S. — is surging as people come to see their phones as the safer way to pay. They’re also using mobile apps tied to payments, such as Amazon Prime Now, to place delivery or pickup orders for groceries. The Treasury Department may even let people who don’t have bank accounts receive their coronavirus relief checks via mobile-payment services like Venmo.
“We shouldn’t be touching anything,” said Richard Crone, chief executive officer of mobile-payment research firm Crone Consulting LLC. He expects contactless payments to grab an additional 10% to 20% of transactions at stores and ATMs as the result of the pandemic. Person-to-person services like PayPal, Venmo and Zelle should benefit as well, Crone said.