The ongoing move away from cashless to plastic and digital forms of payment is an obvious assist to fintech ETFs, including the ARK Fintech Innovation ETF (NYSEARCA: ARKF).
For ARKF investors, the good news is that coronavirus pandemic is speeding that transition, prompting businesses and consumers to more widely adopt cashless and contactless payments.
“Across the globe, Covid-19 is fueling the rise of the cashless economy as employees and consumers alike worry that the direct handling of paper currency could spread the coronavirus,” reports Linda Poon for Bloomberg CityLab.
To some extent, fintech stocks that are able to leverage cashless payments and ARKF itself are benefiting from the notion that cash can transfer the coronavirus from person to person. Medical experts refute that claim, asserting that as long as users of cash are dutiful in washing their hands, cash shouldn’t act as a coronavirus conduit.
However, the damage to cash may already be done and for many businesses and their customers, it’s simply more prudent to offer fintech payment options to make customers feel safer.
Cashless Case Mounts
“And while not all small and midsize businesses have gone cash-free, many are pushing card and contactless payments — as advised by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in their latest guidelines — or have switched entirely to online and mobile orders,” reports CityLab.
The actively managed ARKF invests in equity securities of companies that ARK believes are shifting financial services and economic transactions to technology infrastructure platforms, ultimately revolutionizing financial services by creating simplicity and accessibility while driving down costs.
With COVID-19 flaring up again in some large states, contactless payments and the ARKF components with exposure to that theme stand to benefit again. At the industry level, contactless is viewed as a futuristic concept, but integral to the ARKF thesis, that future is now. Contactless payments could see their share of all payments rise 10% to 15% because of the coronavirus.
“In the U.S., cash use has steadily dropped in recent years, but it remains robust. Consumers still use hard currency in a quarter of all transactions and in over half of purchases under $10, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco,” according to CityLab.
That says there’s plenty of room for fintech in the world’s largest economy – growth that may be realized due to the coronavirus.
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The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.