Shift4 Payments, the leader in integrated payment processing solutions, recently marked the one-year anniversary of its launch of Shift4Cares.com, a website that the company created to raise funds and increase awareness for U.S. merchants facing the economic brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since its launch, the site has served as a resource for news outlets, businesses, and government agencies, providing valuable transaction volume data to assess the ongoing economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the data on Shift4Cares.com has revealed, merchants in the hospitality sector experienced a severe decline one year ago at the pandemic’s start, with restaurant and hotel transactions plummeting nearly 75% during March of 2020. The data has shown transaction volume recovered somewhat steadily from May through October of 2020 but experienced declines throughout the holiday months of November and December 2020 as cases spread and increased restrictions were put in place. Since January 2021 there has been an accelerated recovery in transaction volumes with March 2021 representing a 215% increase from the pandemic “trough” level in April 2020.
This recent surge in transactions, along with many new merchants joining the platform, drove a record-breaking month and quarter for Shift4 in terms of end-to-end payment volume. March end-to-end volume was $3.3B in 2021, up 40% from February 2021 and 82% from the prior year. This is especially notable when considering that many states are still operating with significant capacity restrictions in place for businesses.
In looking at regional details, it is clear that spring break travel is playing a significant role in transaction recovery. Five of the top ten cities for transaction volumes in March were in Florida, and Las Vegas entered the top ten for the first time since the pandemic started. Hotel transaction volume was the fastest growing industry category, although hotel transaction volume remains ~20% below pre-pandemic levels.
“We are very pleased to see the early signs of a recovery within the merchants we serve,” said Jared Isaacman, CEO of Shift4 Payments. “While there remains much progress to be made, there is also genuine reason for optimism. As the hospitality sector continues to improve and as vaccinations become even more readily available, we look forward to the spring and summer months when Shift4’s contactless ordering and payment solutions can also help drive our return to stadiums and concert venues. Whether it’s a restaurant kitchen that is bustling with life again or a concession stand that is gearing up for the return of fans, these demanding commerce environments can continue to benefit from Shift4’s technologies.”