Study: Consumers Have Gone Digital and Want Contactless Payments to Stay

Thryv partnered with Payments Dive to ask 2,050 U.S. consumers about their preferences when it comes to payments in the 2022 Consumer Payments Survey.

The survey results are in, and consumers of all ages have spoken: They’ve adopted more digital, contactless payments since COVID, and they love the convenience.

They also plan on sticking with digital payments, so much so that it will even impact which business they’ll work with.

We dove even deeper and asked specifically about making payments to service-based businesses, such as home services, health and wellness, pet services, legal services, and more.

Overwhelmingly, they are moving away from cash and checks for these types of purchases. Instead, they prefer digital wallets, touchless or contactless terminals, tap-to-pay platforms, bank-to-bank transfers or smartphone apps.

73% of consumers say that when comparing two businesses, the type of payment options available will influence their final decision.

Digital Payments Preferences: What We Found

During the survey, we asked a wide array of consumers not only about their payment preferences, but what they intend to purchase over the next six months. Then we asked how they want to pay for those larger-ticket items.

About a third of respondents told us they plan on spending between $1,000 and $5,000 on home services. Half of them say they’ll spend anywhere between $500 and $5,000 on health, wellness or spa services.

A third of them also say they plan on taking a lengthy vacation. Prices on these items are going up, and consumers are ready to spend.

And in recent months, they’ve most often paid for these services with digital or contactless payment options. In fact, they only report paying by cash or check 25% of the time.

64% of customers prefer digital payments when paying for larger services.

How Payments Affect Customer Experience

Of course, a business must get paid to stay afloat, but do payments affect the overall customer journey? Consumers told us that they do in several ways.

Not only will they choose a business that offers their preferred payment option, but they may also feel more at ease using a digital payment option.

They like using a dedicated client portal to do business. In fact, 77% said they believe using a credit card on an online portal is just as safe or safer than paying in person.

We found that the easier the payment tool, the more likely they’ll enjoy the product or service they’re purchasing.

This also applied to other interactions with the business. For instance, they told us that if making appointments with a business was difficult, that would impact their purchase decision, as well.

66% of consumers are likely to use a bank-to-bank (ACH) transfer to pay versus a credit card, if available.

The Competitive Edge You Didn’t See Coming

When a small business owner chooses a payment processing service that is connected to his client data in a CRM, it creates a powerful and centralized way to work. This will impact the customer’s entire journey.

These are the types of tools that were previously only available to large companies. However, they are now more readily available to small businesses and give them a competitive edge over other local businesses.

The ideal payment processor for service-based businesses will provide options not only for digital payments, such as credit cards. It will also offer bank-to-bank — or ACH — transactions.

ACH is typically far less expensive to process. It provides not only another option that consumers prefer but also saves both the consumer and the business big money on credit card fees.

Contactless Payments Are Here to Stay

We surveyed 2,000+ consumers, and here's how they want to pay small businesses.

71% of consumers intend to continue using cashless payments in the future.

Time for a Mindset Change for Today’s Small Businesses

No matter what type of business you run, it’s clear that consumers want touchless, cashless ways to pay you. Having the right payment processing option has transformed Andy Corman’s business:

“More than 50% of my business this year has been cashless,” says Andy, the owner of AC Trash Hauling, a junk removal company in the Indianapolis, Ind., area. He uses ThryvPay for payment processing. “I can send a bill online and I can get paid before I leave the driveway.”

Download the Thryv, Payments Dive 2022 Consumer Payments Survey today to learn how to shift to digital with your customers. You’ll streamline your workflows and get paid faster. Plus, you’ll give your customers the experience they expect from businesses they work with today.