The pandemic and the instant payment system significantly changed our payment habits

English2020. júl. 11.Növekedé

During the first three months after the introduction of the instant payment system, bank customers registered almost 55,000 secondary account IDs, of which mobile phone numbers and email addresses were the most popular, according to the latest data of GIRO Zrt. This also proves that the lockdown due to the pandemic has significantly changed our payment habits.

Analysts are confident that bank card and digital payment solutions will play an even bigger role in our daily lives, which changed considerably because of the pandemic. This trend is also supported by the introduction of the instant payment system in Hungary in March, which helps to enhance several innovative solutions through its additional services.

A payment request service is now available in some banks, and with the use of secondary account IDs bank transfers become even easier.

In the first three months, bank customers registered nearly 55,000 secondary account IDs, of which mobile phone numbers and email addresses were the most popular, according to the latest data of GIRO Zrt.

The fight against coronavirus is taking place on many fronts, and one important element of this is paying by bank card, mobile phone or smartwatch instead of cash, which means that the role of innovative payment solutions is constantly growing. Especially during the lockdown period, when people only left home when it was inevitable, it was typical that people also tried to make purchases from their home without personal contact. Home delivery has become more important, and in this situation those retailers and restaurants survived that offered customers the option of paying in advance and receiving the food or other products via contactless delivery. A large number of bank customers also switched to digital banking during the COVID crisis.

Several surveys were conducted on how payment and shopping habits changed during the pandemic and all of them found that there was a noticeable decline in the use of cash and face-to-face contacts in banks, and more people now pay online or by bank card.

The fact that the value limit for entering the PIN code when paying by bank card was raised from 5,000 forints to 15,000 also increased the popularity of card payments.

However, cash is not dead yet, mostly because bank cards are still not accepted by many retailers in the country, and even the pandemic situation has not been able to change this.

One domestic bank conducted an online survey covering March and April about how purchasing and financial habits changed since the outbreak of the virus in Hungary (March 11, 2020). The results showed that the average basket value of online orders increased from 17,000 forints to 20,000; 58% of people used cash less frequently and 51% withdrew money from cash machines less often. 35% of those surveyed used their debit or credit card more frequently.

On the other hand, 42% used cash at least as often as in the period before the pandemic. This is either because they spend only small amounts at a time, which is easier with cash, or they receive their wages in cash, or shops where they usually do their shopping do not accept bank cards. The survey also revealed that those who have access to mobile and internet banking used them more often: mobile banking was used more frequently by 21% of those surveyed, while 25% of the people used the internet for arranging financial issues more often than before.

A company supporting innovative financial solutions also surveyed payment habits during the epidemic.

Their online research found that 35% of those surveyed avoid using cash if possible, 30.7%, however, are forced to pay cash because there is no other payment option where they usually do their shopping and 23.5% think cash is still the easiest way to pay.

8.4% of those surveyed did not have a bank card of their own.

28.3% of those surveyed used their card several times a week, while 13.9% paid with it daily, and 15.1% a few times a month. As the survey was conducted online, it is hardly surprising that nearly 79% of those surveyed shopped online and predominantly used their card to pay for their purchases (76.6%), while the second most popular solution was bank transfer (33.6%).

It seems promising that a high proportion of participants are familiar with innovative payment methods: among them awareness of online bank cards (72.9%), mobile phones (63.9%) and QR code payments (48.2%) are the most well-known.