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4 Stocks to Watch As Contactless Payment Gains Popularity

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The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way businesses have been operating so long. Social distancing has become a priority to contain the spread of the deadly virus. This has also seen a change in the way people have so long been carrying out transactions.

A study on the State of Retail Payments, which was carried out by National Retail Federation (“NRF”) along with market research company Forrester, found that 67% of retailers in the United States now accept contactless payment. And this mode of payment is likely to stay given that the process saves time and is hassle-free.

Contactless Payments Gaining Popularity

Contactless payment options have been there for quite some time. However, today its importance is being felt like never before given that it has emerged as the most convenient and safest mode of conducting transaction. Consumers not only want the ability to shop at their convenience but also to minimize personal contact with point of sale devices.

According to the research released by NRF, 58% of U.S. retailers now accept touch-free payment, reflecting a rise of 18% from 2019. At the same time, 56% of the merchants have started accepting mobile payments from digital wallets. Last year, only 44% of the retailers had accepted payments through mobile.

Moreover, the report mentions that contactless payments have jumped to 69% for the total retailers surveyed by NRF. Consumers too have started to prefer touch-free payments on health concerns. According to the survey, at least 19% of the customers made in-store digital payments for the first time in May.

Contactless Payment Is Here to Stay

Among the U.S. retailers who have already started accepting touch-free payment, the NRF report states that 94% believe the trend will increase over the coming 18 months.

The ease of making touch-free payments has now definitely struck a chord with both customers and retailers. Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Americans actually lagged in terms of contactless payment preference. Goes without saying, payments solutions companies are introducing newer modes of contactless payments to help customers.

Stocks to Watch

Alphabet, Inc. (GOOGL - Free Report) , apart from other products and services, also offers Google Pay, a digital wallet platform and online payment system developed to power in-app and tap-to-pay purchases on mobile devices, enabling users to make payments with Android phones, tablets or watches. 

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for next year is 30.6%. Alphabet’s shares have gained 0.5% over the past 30 days. The company has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Visa Inc. (V - Free Report) operates retail electronic payments network worldwide. It provides transaction processing services (primarily authorization, clearing and settlement) to financial institutions and merchant clients through VisaNet, its global processing platform.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for next year is 16%. The company’s shares have gained 1% over the past 60 days. Visa has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Apple, Inc.’s (AAPL - Free Report) Apple Pay is a mobile contact payment system and digital wallet service. It allows users to pay for products and services using near-field communication at the point of sale, whether in person, via iOS apps or the Internet.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 9.1%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 0.3% over the past 60 days. Apple carries a Zacks Rank #3.

PayPal Holdings, Inc. (PYPL - Free Report) has emerged as one of the largest online payment solutions providers on the back of its strong product portfolio and two-sided platform that enables it to offer both customers and merchants smooth and secure transaction facility.

The company’s expected earnings growth rate for the current year is 20.7%. The Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has improved 1.4% over the past 60 days. The company has a Zacks Rank #3.

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