Coronavirus Hits the Mobile Payments Industry Further With KBW’s Look at Mastercard

March 3, 2020         By: Steven Anderson

It wasn’t long ago when we heard that the coronavirus had struck a major piece of the mobile payments industry as CardLinx rescheduled its Japan event for September. As it turned out, however, that was just the start of the hits for the mobile payments industry. In fact, word recently sent our way from Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW) reveals that Mastercard was taking hits of its own as the coronavirus spread, and it’s not likely to be alone.

Mastercard, for example, revised its first quarter and full-year figures downward to accommodate the expected impact of coronavirus on a market where people do less shopping because not only are fewer people going to stores, but some things aren’t even getting made. Moreover, since the virus is hitting some places so much harder than others, the potential for real impact in the cross-border space could be especially telling. After all, there may not be a problem in one place, but in the place where that one place does a lot of trading, it could be a whole different story.

Additionally, Visa is expected to take some hits as well in this field, and given that Visa and Mastercard are the leaders in this market, that could be quite a hit. However, reports suggest that American Express may have headed off some of the worst problems immediately, making its impact a bit less than its cohorts.

Essentially, it’s too early to tell right now just what kind of impact the coronavirus will have worldwide. Given the importance of China as a manufacturing operation, though, some impact is unavoidable. There are possibilities that could come into play, but until we see just how far this goes, there will be no way to accurately project just how deep those possibilities will actually go.

Understanding the field going forward is vital to knowing how mobile payments will turn out. While there’s a clear chance this sector will see a downturn coming up, remember there are also alternatives like online shopping that may help things here. Either way, though, mobile payments will be a big part of shopping going forward, no matter what the short term outcomes look like.