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Paysafe study shows COVID-19 fueling online shift, payment preferences

A Paysafe report reveals that more than half of U.S. consumers are shifting to online purchases due to COVID-19, as they can’t access physical retail stores, due social distancing mandates and stay-at-home orders. 

The report shows 54% of U.S. shoppers are using online sellers because they can’t reach the stores and 46% are making COVID-19 related purchases at these online stores, according to report data. The U.S trend is much more pronounced than in Europe, including Germany and Austria, where only 31% and 32% respectively are shopping online due to lack of physical access. 

The numbers also show that 25% of U.S. shoppers are going online for the first time, compared with 21% in the U.K. and 18% globally. 

The outbreak has led many consumers to change payment methods, with 65% of U.S. consumers saying they have tried a new payment approach for the first time.

Overall, credit cards are the most popular method of purchase in the U.S., with 56% making an online purchase with a credit card in the past month. In addition, 50% of U.S. users have purchased online with a debit card and 36% have purchased online with a digital wallet. 

About 60% of U.S. consumers view cash as the most reliable payment method in a crisis, while 47% would use cash to make an online purchase if there was an easy way to complete the transaction. At the same time, 55% of U.S. consumers are concerned about using cash due to worries about COVID-19 related contamination. 

The data is part of an international study of 8,000 consumers by Paysafe and Sapia Research, in the U.S., U.K., Bulgaria, Italy, Austria and Germany from April 8-15.