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BizReport : Ecommerce : June 29, 2020

Barclaycard reports 60% spike in payments April - June

It's one sign that the globe is slowly beginning to recover from the COVID-19 lockdown that shuttered many businesses worldwide as governments and health officials fought to slow the spread of the coronavirus: a 60% increase in payments between the week of April 1 and the week of June 7.

by Kristina Knight

"It's extremely heartening to witness the spike in activity that took place last week, and with some retailers still to open some or all of their stores, we expect sales volumes to continue to rise over the coming weeks," said Rob Cameron, CEO, Barclay Payments.

The Barclaycard research also shows an 8% increase in the total volume of payments at their UK-based businesses, a 10% increase in contactless transactions, and a 12% increase in merchant trading from the week prior to June 7. Barclaycard processes about 40% of UK transactions.

"The ability of UK businesses to adapt and grow as they emerge from lockdown is a testament to how dedicated and resilient they are," said Cameron. "It will be interesting to watch whether the measures they took to boost income during lockdown, such as turning to social media to increase sales, will become a permanent part of their business models from now on."

The increases in traffic and transactions isn't only being felt with big merchants, either. Barclay's data shows a 12% increase in transaction volume for small and medium sized businesses.

Meanwhile in the US, merchants are seeing an increase in mobile and contactless payments; Crone Consulting estimated contactless payments have increased by about 20% since the Coronavirus began spreading here.

"Consumers want safety, and they want to know when they have to touch something that it's sanitized," said Richard Crone, CEO, Crone Consulting, via the NRF blog. "There's nothing more assuring than their own phone."

According to the latest NRF data, May ecommerce sales spiked up significantly over April's numbers, during the worst of the business closures, but are still not near the May 2019 shopping numbers for the US. Overall, May retail sales increased by about 17% over April numbers but were still down 6% YoY.

"Full recovery is still a long way off. Comparisons against April have to be taken in context because April was a full month when almost everything that wasn't deemed 'essential' was shut down. Spending has improved considerably but it's still far below where it was a year ago, and while the freefall in consumer confidence is over, unemployment remains high and confidence is still at recession levels," said Jack Kleinhenz, Chief Economist, NRF. "What we need to look at is the trajectory of employment and the direction of the virus. There's hope for a turnaround in the economy in the third quarter but if the virus has a reawakening, we're going to see some serious situations for consumers."

Looking at specific verticals, clothing/apparel sales were down 63# YoY, furniture sales were down 23% YoY, and electronics were down 30% YoY.

More data from the NRF can be found here.

Tags: Barclaycard, coronavirus trends, COVID-19 and ecommerce, ecommerce, ecommerce trends

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