The Impact of COVID-19 on the Mobile Payments Industry

16 April 2020
Carrier Billing

The world is relying on mobile more than ever. It is unsurprising that ecommerce is set to rise on a global scale, given the lifestyle impact from COVID-19. The latest research by Juniper predicts that ecommerce will exceed $4.8trillion by 2024 (up from $3.3trillion in 2020).

Ecommerce is something of a lifeline for many people worldwide, whose lives have altered considerably over the last few months. Many of whom are currently self-isolating, in lockdown, or in quarantine, as businesses enforce working from home, shops shut their doors and airlines cancel flights.

Mobile Usage & App Downloads

  • Worldwide, overall use of both gaming and non-gaming apps increased by 20% in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the same quarter last year
  • Overall app installs were up 5% on Google Play to 22.5 billion in the quarter, and up 15% on the iOS App Store to 9 billion
  • China, the first country to be hit by the Coronavirus, was put into lockdown in January 2020. Consequently, in February, we saw daily time spent on mobile in China grow to an average of five hours per day, an increase of 30% compared to the average for 2019
  • Italy, the country with the second highest concentration of confirmed cases as of March 15, had the second highest increase in time spent on mobile at 11% to 7 hours ­

Consumer Spend & Changing Behaviour

  • Global online order volumes increased by 88% by the end of March 2020, compared to the beginning of the year
  • Online shopping in the morning (6-8am), news consumption in the evening (4-7pm) has become a reverse trend to pre-COVID-19
  • Spending has increased on home entertainment; Digital TV orders and video on demand, online gaming and sport and fitness products.
  • The demand for office equipment and electronics increased as people furnished home offices to work from home
  • In Q1 2020, consumers spent over $23.4B through the App Stores – the largest quarter ever in terms of consumer spend

Opportunities for Mobile Payments

With unprecedented changes in online spending habits and mobile usage trends, it is crucial that online merchants understand the growing needs of their customers and continuously adapt.

Research from Strategies for Payment Providers: Industry Trends, Opportunities & Recommendations 2020-2024, encourages payment providers to seek new revenue streams in emerging markets to lessen slow growth in developed markets – carrier billing will be crucial for this.

Mobile payments do not require a linked bank account and “offer significant possibilities for ecommerce payments in developing markets.” Not everyone with a smartphone has access to debit/credit cards or wants to connect them to their mobile, therefore direct carrier billing is the obvious answer.

Carrier billing offers a seamless and secure mobile payment solution, helping merchants access valued customers in new markets. Talk to SLA Digital today to find out more.


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