NEW YORK — As consumers progressively purchase a wider spectrum of goods and services via digital currencies, U.S. merchants are reflecting a greater optimism, prioritization and implementation of alternate payments to meet this demand. Deloitte recently surveyed merchants on the factors that are most contributing to the significantly increased adoption of cryptocurrencies to understand shifts in consumer behavior and pinpoint perceived obstacles and barriers to further growth.
Among the key findings around increased consumer and merchant optimism and adoption:
- Overall, merchants understand that their adoption of digital currency payments puts them at a competitive advantage, broadly agreeing (87% of respondents) with the statement that organizations currently accepting digital currencies have a competitive advantage in the market.
- Eighty-five percent of respondents anticipate that digital currency payments will be ubiquitous in their respective industries within five years. Industries surveyed were primarily consumer goods and services and included digital goods, electronics, fashion, food and beverages, home/garden, hospitality and transportation.
- Fifty-four percent of responding retailers have invested more than $1 million towards enabling digital currency payments.
“This survey shows that merchants view acceptance of digital currencies – driven by consumer acceptance and demand – as key to driving business, and those that are slow to adopt run the risk of falling significantly behind,” said Zachary Aron, principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Global and U.S. Banking and Capital Markets Payments Leader. “Customer demand for more innovative and flexible options is now a given, and merchants are finding the means to deliver digital payments in more effective ways, creating value for each player in the transactional flow.”
Merchants recognize a number of challenges when considering the enablement of digital currency payments. Among them, they consider perceived complexity of integration with existing financial infrastructure or across various currencies. Envisioning the future, respondents also cited top regulatory priorities that they believe will lower the threat and reduce barriers to adoption.
In the survey, merchants revealed ways that digital currency payment processors can provide the most favorable conditions to support the move towards digital payments. These include avoiding the traditional holding period, providing incentive programs and elimination of transaction costs.
Developed in collaboration with global payments company PayPal, the Merchants Getting Ready for Crypto: Merchant Adoption of Digital Currency Payments Survey builds upon findings generated through Deloitte’s 2021 Global Blockchain Survey: A new age of digital assets, released in August 2021. The 2021 Global Blockchain Survey introduced a consensus from a majority of respondents (76%) that digital assets will replace fiat currencies in the next five to 10 years.
“Merchants understand how important it is to accept payment types their customers want to use, and digital currencies are now an important consideration as merchants think about their payment capabilities,” said May Zabaneh, vice president of product for PayPal’s Blockchain, Crypto, and Digital Currencies business unit. “What this survey shows is just how many merchants are now recognizing the importance of digital currencies and planning accordingly.”
The Merchants Getting Ready for Crypto: Merchant Adoption of Digital Currency Payments Survey polled a sample of 2,000 senior executives at U.S. retail organizations, equally distributed among the following sectors: cosmetics, digital goods, electronics, fashion, food & beverages, home/garden, hospitality & leisure, personal & household goods, services, and transportation. The survey polled retailers with annual revenues ranging from below $10 million to $500 million and above, and was conducted by Deloitte between Dec. 3 and 16, 2021.