Already Growing E-Commerce Payment Trends Pick Up Speed with COVID

Aug 21, 2020

E-commerce and other payment trends have been gaining speed for some time. However, these trends are now being fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic and the flames are spreading fast. New debit card transaction data released early this month by Houston-based Pulse electronic funds transfer network confirms this.

It is safe to say we are living in unprecedented times. As stay-at-home policies and business closures/altered operations swept the nation in March, consumers were forced to change their shopping habits. From buying groceries and day-to-day necessities to purchasing clothes and accessories, consumers spending was driven online. Many consumers began turning to options like curbside pickup and meal delivery for the very first time.

CNP Payment Processing Takes Off

Card-not-present (CNP) transactions are nothing new. CNP transactions on debit networks grew 21% in 2019 over 2018, reaching 6.3 transactions per active card. According to the network’s 15th annual Debit Issuer Study, that growth was 10 times greater than the rate for card-present transactions. In fact, card-not-present accounted for 27% of all transactions last year (up from 13% five years ago).

The average ticket on card-not-present transactions also grew nearly 2% to $40.50. In contrast, card-present transactions average ticket fell for the first time from $34.49 to 34.10. This trend has also been influenced by consumers’ fear that cash might spread infection during COVID-19. Fewer and fewer cash withdrawals are being made, according to Steve Sievert, executive vice president of marketing and brand management at Pulse.

COVID Causes Stagnant Trends to Take Off

There are a couple of trends that were previously lagging until the pandemic began and consumer spending shifted online. Contactless plastic has now become a preferred option by consumers who are increasingly wary of touching keypads when shopping in-store. Digital wallets are also picking up speed, although Apple Inc.’s Apple Pay is pushing ahead of rivals Samsung Pay and Google Pay; nearly all issuers are now enabling their debit cards to be enrolled for Apple Pay.

According to data, 17.5% of cards are already enrolled in the Apple Pay service. Meanwhile, the percentages for Samsung Pay and Google Pay are 1.7% and 1.2%. Approximately 40% of enrolled cards now use Apple Pay at least once a year, compared to 23% and 22% for the other two services. Sievert says Apple Pay has quickly positioned itself “far and away the wallet leader in debit.”

Card-Not-Present Payment Processing

As preferences and concerns of consumers continue to shift during COVID, it is important for merchants to meet their ever-changing needs. Ensuring your customers have multiple payment processing options is key – especially during these rocky times. To open a safe and secure merchant account, consider turning to a reputable payment processing company like

EMB is voted the #1 high risk payment processor in the US and boasts an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). With EMB, you can enjoy the best chargeback protection and prevention programs in the industry. EMB is rated A by Card Payment Options and is one of Inc 500’s Fastest Growing Companies of 2016.

Choose EMB to get a highly reliable and secure eCommerce merchant account for your business. can help you fight fraud and mitigate chargeback levels related to your business.

Let us help you get a high risk merchant account today!

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Having a merchant account allows an account holder to take advantage of merchant cash advances. When a merchant is approved for an advance, the business agrees to receive a lump sum of cash in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of future credit card sales.

Pricing varies depending on the merchant’s industry, past credit card processing history, the type of business seeking the account, average ticket sales, and average transaction volumes.

Yes, EMB works with merchants who are building their credit, as well as those who have poor credit. EMB also approves merchants that have no credit card processing history and businesses that have lost their merchant accounts due to high chargebacks.

Several factors influence a merchant’s risk level. Though only one factor likely will not get a merchant classified as high risk, a combination of these may: business size, location, and industry, credit score, credit card processing history, a industry’s reputation for excessive chargebacks, a prior history of high chargeback ratios, and whether a merchant exclusively sells online.

Virtual terminals are stationed on a merchant’s website, making it easy for customers to make a payment or purchase online. Merchants or a payment processor can easily set up virtual terminals, so online businesses can accept credit and debit card and e-check transactions.

A merchant account is a business account with an acquiring bank. Without this business account, which actually works more like a line of credit, a merchant cannot accept and process credit and debit card transactions. Businesses need a merchant account to accept major credit cards via a static point-of-sale terminal, mobile card reader, or through a virtual payment gateway.

After filling out EMB’s simple online application and submitting any necessary, requested documents, many merchants get approved within 24 and 48 hours.

EMB specializes in working with high-risk merchants. EMB works with many merchants, including but not limited to businesses in these industries: gambling and gaming, adult entertainment, nutraceuticals, vaping and e-cigarettes, electronics, tech support, travel, high-end furniture, weight loss programs, calling cards, e-books and software, and telecommunications.

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