Square sees COVID-19 leading to a ‘significant and stabilizing’ increase in cashless transactions

Square Inc. said Tuesday that the share of transactions made in cash was 33.3% as of Aug. 1, down from 40.6% at the same time a year ago. Using 2019 as a baseline indicator, the payment processing company estimates the decline in the use of cash, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, would have taken three years without the pandemic. In February, before COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, 5.4% of Square sellers were cashless. That percentage increased to 23.2% by April, before declining and showing signs of stabilizing at 13.4% by August. “These new findings show a significant and stabilizing increase in cashless adoption rates compared to pre-pandemic, with business owners increasingly reliant upon contactless and online payments and consumers utilizing those alternatives,” Square Economist Felipe Chacon said. “This signals that COVID-19 has already had what will likely be a lasting impact on consumer behavior.” Square’s stock, which rose 1.8% in premarket trading, has more than doubled (up 130.8%) year to date through Monday, while the S&P 500 has gained 4.7%.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

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