The global Covid-19 pandemic has had a lot of influence on society, and brought a lot of changes to our lives.

Change takes many forms and is initiated by different things. During the course of the pandemic, change has been brought about by two primary factors.

Firstly there has been forced change by authorities. Examples of this include forced lockdowns where people could not physically leave their homes except for certain circumstances, as well as suspensions or restrictions on certain industries and businesses.

And secondly there has been voluntary change by people for the sake of common cause, such as opting not to engage in certain social or leisure activities, or choosing digital alternatives to physical activities.

Global economies, industries and businesses were obviously impacted by change over this period, as well as consumers. And it has not all been bad. Indeed, many industries saw considerable consumer growth, such as:

Online retail
Why risk going to the shops when you can buy online? While the usual internet juggernauts such as Amazon increased their sales across the board, many smaller businesses that may have previously been hesitant in adopting web technologies finally took the plunge and offered online shopping as a means to survive. And brand new businesses that might have traditionally started out in the brick and mortar space jumped directly to e-commerce.

Cleaning services
Professional deep cleaning has been in high demand to sanitize both public and private spaces. The demand for cleaning products and sanitizer has also increased.

Delivery services
If you buy something online it needs to get to you somehow. With the increase in online sales comes an increase in delivery requirements and logistics services. Demand has increased for delivery of retail items, food and business documentation.

Online education/tutoring
There has been a huge transition during the pandemic from in-person learning to virtual learning, in schools as well as tertiary institutions. In many cases parents have been concerned about their children possibly falling behind, and have turned to extra lessons or private tutoring online to bridge a gap. Corporate workplace training moved out of the training room and into digital spaces.
In addition to this, as many people lost their jobs they turned to online education to learn new skills or to improve their current ones in the hopes of landing a better job. Or any job.

Home health providers
As hospitals have filled up, there has been a high demand for at home health care for people with disabilities, chronic conditions or age related issues. Whereas previously these people may have received care at a medical facility, it has become more desirable for a multitude of reasons for them to receive care in their homes instead. There has also been a marked increase in tele-health consultations as opposed to in-practice appointments. If you have health insurance that covers these, or you live in a part of the world that provides universal healthcare, that’s fantastic. For others, medical expenses come out of pocket.

Tech companies
As people have been moved into both work-from-home and socialise-from-home situations, the need to for tools to enable communication both in the workplace and socially has drastically increased. Had you even heard of zoom before 2019? Now it’s a verb – “Let’s Zoom at 2pm”. Not to mention the increase in demand for data and ISP services.

Home fitness equipment
If you can’t go to the gym, the gym shall come to you. There has been a marked increase in demand for at home gym equipment, and it’s not just the higher priced cardio machines such as treadmills and stationary bikes that have seen an upswing. The humble yoga mat has had a massive increase in sales. Workout apps and virtual workout sessions with trainers online have also become extremely popular.

Personal protection equipment, medical equipment and medical textiles have obviously been in extremely high demand. No surprise there, really.

Online entertainment
Video and audio streaming services saw significant growth during the pandemic. As people could not go to the cinema, major studio releases became online releases. The video streaming market is no longer just Netflix and Amazon. Other streaming services such as Disney are rapidly rolling their offerings out to audiences beyond the USA. Social media platforms became our social interaction channels. And virtual casinos had a huge jump in traffic.

And that’s just a quick list, there are a lot more.

So what do most of these have in common? Well, as a consumer you don’t buy them with cash, at least not directly. For the most part if you want these services you pay for them online via a payment provider of some sort.

There are exceptions to this, of course, depending on who you are buying from and where you are in the world. For example, in some locations you can buy an Apple gift card in a brick and mortar store with cash, and then use that to buy music online. Or if you are an Amazon shopper in the US you can pay for your online purchase in cash at a participating partner, and then enter in a code at the online checkout. But even if you are handing over cash at a paypoint, you are still going to be putting digital information into a form on a website to complete your purchase.

Now, if you are a yoga instructor who now has to give zoom classes to survive, or a brand new small business selling your goods online, you just do not have access to the kinds of resources and infrastructure that giants like Amazon, Apple and Netflix have. Physically taking cash from your customer is obviously not an option for you. But you still need to get payment from your customers. And you need it to be easy for your customer to pay, and easy for you to actually get the money in hand.

That’s where we come in. At Baer’s Crest we have a range of payment solutions on offer, with affordable rates and headache-free onboarding. Talk to us and let us provide you with the perfect solution to your payment needs.