Average remittance per transaction (ART ) dropped five per cent from the pre-COVID-19 period of Q4 2019 to the post-COVID-19 period of March through May of 2020 according to the analysis by Tipalti, a global payables automation company.

And industries like as adtech were especially hard hit.

Certain regions, such as South America and Africa, were more in the cross hairs than others.  South America’s ART decreased by 40.72 per cent when looking at Q4 2019 when compared to the June through August 2020 period, and Africa saw an ART decrease of 35.57 per cent during the same period. Many European countries took hard hits as well, with Finland, France, Spain, Denmark, and the UK amongst the worst performers.

It has subsequently recovered slightly with the data indicating that from Q4 2019 to June to August 2020, the total reduction in ART was 3.8 per cent.

In contrast, Asia and Oceania have actually increased their ART compared to Q4 2019. Asian countries have been able to maintain solid operations across Indonesia, China, and India. In addition, Norway and Sweden were amongst the fastest growing regions post-COVID-19 when compared to before the pandemic.

Adtech hit hard

Data on the Advertising and Marketing industry showed that compared to Q4 2019, from June through August 2020 there was a decrease of 8.8 per cent ART.

However, within the industry, it was ad networks that received the largest hit, with a decrease of 13 per cent during the same time period. Influencer and affiliate marketing on the other hand actually gained 10.9 per cent and 8.5 per cent in ART, respectively, likely due to brands requiring more accountability and focusing on increasing their conversion rates with more measurable campaigns. Advertising agencies also saw an ART increase of 33.2 per cent during the same period.

The research also looked at the Retail, E-commerce, and Marketplaces industry. Similar to the findings for the advertising and marketing industry, the data team discovered that while some sectors including general retail and e-commerce saw a 58.8 per cent and 15.4 per cent ART increase, others – such as the gig economy and online marketplaces – experienced decreases. The decline in online marketplaces, which decreased by 43.0 per cent, maybe due to consumers looking primarily to buy essentials rather than specialty items.

The business and finance services industry also saw a mix of both positive and negative ART numbers depending on the sub-category. For example, both financial services and wholesale distribution saw positive changes in ART, at increases of 34.5 per cent and 54.9 per cent. However, sub-categories like consulting firms and translation fared much worse, with double-digit ART decreases for both.

According to Chen Amit, CEO and Co-founder of Tipalti, “During a black swan event like the coronavirus pandemic, businesses need to consider the shifts in their supply chain strategies. This data broadly highlights how the pandemic has impacted business and supplier communities around the world. With the world bracing for what seems like a third wave of COVID-19 as we enter the winter months, we will continue to monitor our data to help share insights on how the pandemic is impacting the business community.”

Tipalti currently processes over $12 billion in payments annually for over 1,000 customers to 196 countries. This provides a compelling data set to examine the economic impact that the pandemic has had. Tipalti has unique visibility into ART, which allows the company to look at transactions at the molecular level to determine the health of a given industry or country. The assumption is that if transaction sizes to suppliers and partners decrease, it would indicate that people were paid less for goods and services.

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