In Conversation with Visa: The Shift to Digital Payments and the Surge in Contactless Payment Adoption

December 8, 2020 | By Alicia V. Nieva-Woodgate

In Conversation with Visa: The Shift to Digital Payments and the Surge in Contactless Payment Adoption

Late last month our VP of Marketing, Elyssa Steiner hosted Bill Dobbins, SVP of New and Emerging Acceptance at Visa, for our most recent episode of “UR Tech Insiders.”

Bill is responsible for developing and executing strategies to generate new payment card volume for Visa in under penetrated industry segments such as Bill Payment, Business to Business, Healthcare and Micro Payment. He was the perfect guest to talk about 2020 trends in retail and payments that have evolved out of the pandemic, and what we might see in 2021. One thing that is evident from the conversation, is how retailers – both traditional and in unattended markets – have had to make drastic accommodations to adapt to changes in consumer behavior as a result of COVID-19.

While the adoption of cashless and contactless payments was gaining momentum before the Coronavirus outbreak, it’s a trend that has accelerated exponentially since March. Bill discussed how 70% of Visa transactions are happening at locations that are contactless enabled, and how the merchants now have the infrastructure in place to support such transactions. Also, in the U.S., there are nearly 300 million cards enabled for tap to pay. In turn 35% of small to medium businesses have seen a clear reduction in the use of cash.  What is spurring this shift? Consumers want to make their purchase faster in a more convenient manner that is safer. “Contactless is the reason cashless is experiencing a boom,” he said.

Safety is certainly top of mind for shoppers right now and the businesses that are investing in payment technology as well as other innovations, particularly those that help maintain and improve customer experience, engagement and loyalty. Visa is working hard with business owners, particularly those in the small to medium categories, to ensure they survive through these times, via the “Small Business Hub.” Those retailers and vendors that specialize in the unattended retail market sector are well positioned to help small and large retailers adjust and embrace self-serve models. Micromarkets and kiosks are a great solution for those who want to expand beyond self-check-out stations. Ecommerce platforms are also a great alternative, and not just for the big box stores.

Will cash comeback? What does this shift to unattended mean? How will businesses continue to adapt? What other changes are coming? To learn more about what current trends are a passing phase, and which are here to stay in 2021, tune in to our podcast.


Alicia V. Nieva-Woodgate

Vice President of Corporate Communications

Alicia V. Nieva-Woodgate is the Vice President of Corporate Communications and IR for Cantaloupe, Inc.

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