Blackhawk Network reveals a surge in digital wallet usage

Payments provider Blackhawk Network released has revealed a spike in engagement with digital wallet adoption in 2020. 

According to its 2020 Multinational BrandedPay report, 88% of surveyed shoppers across eight different markets utilised a digital wallet of some kind.

The research also found that more than half of consumers surveyed have now purchased or received a digital gift card, which unlike physical gift cards, are equally as likely to be purchased for self-use as they are to be gifted to someone else. 

Theresa McEndree, vice president of marketing at Blackhawk Network, emphasised: “Over the last few months, we’ve witnessed a rapid shift to digital when it comes to both consumer demand and the need for retailers to adapt to meet customers where and how they are shopping. 

“Initially, our research captured the evolving preferences of consumers in the U.S., U.K. and several other countries. As we began to approach the next phase of the COVID crisis, it became apparent that the consumer demand for digital and the glaring gaps we had identified between the digital and physical marketplace were not only still relevant, but largely accelerated or made more prominent. 

“Now more than ever, the brands and retailers that will survive and ultimately thrive are those quickly adapting and actively looking for ways to overcome new challenges by seamlessly engaging customers across the channels they find most valuable.”

As many countries emerge from the pandemic and begin phased reopening of their retail sectors, the report examined attitudes and behaviours around shopping, payments and gifts, including research conducted both before and after the peak impact of the global pandemic. 

Based on responses from more than 12,000 consumers from eight countries around the world, look at Europe specifically it detailed: “UK: For daily shopping, the British consumers surveyed are less likely than any other group among the eight countries to use debit cards and credit cards. More than 88% of British shoppers surveyed still regularly rely on cash, and while about 90% of British shoppers surveyed have a digital wallet, they are seldom used.

“Germany: Though the Germans surveyed are the second-most likely of the eight countries to use a digital wallet, individual digital wallet options have very low engagement rates. A large majority of German shoppers surveyed use some form of digital wallet but stick to the one they like and avoid others.

“Netherlands: The Dutch shoppers surveyed are some of the most frequent digital wallet users, paying with them daily at even higher rates than Brazilians.”