CardFlight Reports 3x Growth in Contactless Payment Transactions During One-Year of COVID-19 Pandemic

CardFlight Small Business Report shows significant adoption of tapped transactions and invoicing as merchants seek to remove the physical aspects of accepting payments
March 17, 2021

CardFlight, the leading SaaS payment technology company, today released the CardFlight Small Business Report, analyzing how small businesses have adapted after one full year of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The data offers insights into changes in consumer behavior as they embraced low- and no-touch forms of payments at the over 70,000 small businesses in all 50 states using CardFlight’s SwipeSimple software to accept credit and debit card payments. 

Key findings include:

  • Contactless tapped transactions at the point of sale are up 296.4% from the pre-pandemic baseline week of March 2-8, 2020
  • Invoice-based payments are up 279.3% since the beginning of pandemic
  • Card-on-file transactions also saw significant growth to 246.4% above baseline

Derek Webster, CardFlight Founder and CEO, says:

One year ago, as social-distancing guidelines were enacted across the U.S., there was great uncertainty as to the survival of small businesses who depend on local customers. While most industries have been deeply impacted, we’ve witnessed the fortitude and ingenuity of small businesses in our portfolio as they have used new technology to overhaul the ways in which they accept payments.

Food and drink merchants have seen the greatest growth in tapped transactions, up 477% from the baseline, as merchants have adopted lower-contact forms of payments. For services businesses, overall transactions are up 20%, but there has been a pronounced shift in how they collect payments. Invoices, on file, and tapped transactions are up over 150%, while traditional card present transactions (dipped and swipe) are down by at least 5% as of last week.

Additional insights into small business recovery include:

  • Despite Clothing and Apparel retail sales dropping 74% in April 2020, one year later this vertical has experienced the greatest rebound, now at 144% above the pre-pandemic baseline.
  • While sales at Entertainment and Recreation services (like dance studios and fitness clubs) dropped 53% in April 2020, they rebounded quickly by moving to virtual programs and ended the year at pre-pandemic levels among SwipeSimple merchants.
  • Sales at Specialty Food Stores held steady in April 2020 and grew throughout the year as merchants turned to delivery and meal prep packages, ending the year 112% above the baseline.

Derek Webster continues:

By analyzing this data weekly, we have witnessed merchants seek ways to remove the physical aspects of payment acceptance so that their customers and employees feel safe. One-year later, SwipeSimple payment volumes and active merchants have grown, and we see small merchants expanding the ways in which they accept payments. If in early 2020 a merchant accepted payments only at a face-to-face point of sale, that merchant is likely accepting payments in new ways today - from tap to pay at the point of sale or methods involving no physical touchpoint at all like invoicing and card-on-file. 

The CardFlight Small Business Report, which has been published weekly since March 19, 2020, monitors and tracks changes in consumer payment behaviors. To access the report and sign up for regular updates click here.

About the Analysis

To create this weekly report, CardFlight analyzed a representative sample of tens of millions of payment transactions from January 6, 2020, to March 14, 2021 processed by over 70,000 small businesses in all 50 U.S. states using CardFlight’s SwipeSimple software to accept credit and debit card payments. 

About SwipeSimple

Developed by CardFlight, SwipeSimple is software small-business merchants use to accept payments either in a retail environment, through back-office billing, or at a customer’s site or remote location. The payments trends identified in this report were processed in a small specialty retail or in store service location; using curbside or open-air sales environment, most often at a customer’s location; or from a computer when the cardholder isn’t present, i.e., sending an invoice, through a digital payment link, or by scheduled/recurring payments to a card on file.

About CardFlight

CardFlight is a leading SaaS payment technology company making payment acceptance effortless and simple, by creating cutting-edge solutions designed to help small businesses grow. 

SwipeSimple, a signature CardFlight product, reaches businesses through a sales channel of financial institutions, independent sales organizations, and merchant service providers. Used by more than 70,000 small businesses in the U.S., across all 50 states, SwipeSimple empowers entrepreneurs to accept payments on the go, in their stores, and at their computers.

CardFlight takes pride in building forward-thinking solutions defined by reliability and driven with the end-user’s goals in mind. The company is headquartered in New York City, with additional offices in Lincoln, NE. Learn more about CardFlight.