COVID-19 caused a dip in payments
Figure 1 shows the value of point-of-sale and online payments derived from payment diary data kept between 1 January and 1 July 2020. The initial weeks of the lockdown were marked by plummeting payment transactions, in terms of both numbers and value, with point-of-sale payments showing the sharpest decline. April saw payments recover as economic activity rebounded and consumers returned to retail outlets and online shops. The resurgence showed such strength that, by May 2020, the value of aggregate point-of-sale and online consumer payments had returned to the level seen in the same month in 2019. In June 2020 it was in fact 15% above that in June 2019. From April onwards, the rebound in payments could be observed mostly for online and debit card payments, and from June onward also for cash payments.