A third turn to digital money transfers during COVID-19

Nearly a third (32 per cent) of consumers have turned to digital wallets to send international remittances and money transfers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Sapio study of 8,000 consumers across the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Austria, Bulgaria and Italy, for Paysafe, found that more than a quarter (28 per cent) had sent money to family or friends once or twice during the first month of lockdown, as global restrictions on movement prevented them from making the payments in person.

A further 20 per cent of consumers made more than two transfers in the month.

The pandemic has also initiated the shift away from cash, with more than half (52 per cent) stating they would reduce their use of cash in favour of digital payments going forward. More than four in ten (43 per cent) said they reduced the physical handling of cash due to health concerns over infection risk.

Only 15 per cent of consumers said they would use some form of physical payment method to send money overseas during the pandemic, while 38 per cent of consumers say they will be shopping online more – even when lockdowns have been fully lifted.

Lorenzo Pellegrino, chief executive of Skrill, Neteller and Income Access at Paysafe, said: “COVID-19 continues to be a catalyst for change across the whole payments industry - consumers seem to be switching to digital offerings, signalling a definite shift in consumer preference for truly frictionless payment methods.

"Even as cash-based money transfer options reopen, preferences towards digital options, induced by the pandemic, are unlikely to subside.”

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