Study shows account-to-account (A2A) money transfers soared in the first months of the pandemic. In fact, A2A transactions per active debit card per month leapt nearly 60% in 2020. The main factor driving the boom in A2A transfers is the growing popularity of contactless payment methods, including mobile apps that support instant payments. Consumers are unlikely to put aside their mobile payment apps now that many retailers are reopening their physical locations. Many consumers were adopting mobile-optimized payment methods before the health crisis, but touchless payments are rapidly replacing other payment tools at the POS. This is especially the case among younger consumers, such as millennials and members of Generation Z. More than 64% of bridge millennials use digital wallets to pay at physical stores. Catering to this growing preference for A2A payment methods is vital for retailers to improve customer engagement and loyalty. Businesses are eyeing these methods with more interest as consumers continue to cling to them, with a broader number of merchants convinced that such payment methods will not be going away. The barriers to supporting emerging payment methods have also become fewer over time, further saturating an already crowded field. Thinking about payments in terms of network or the particular payment rail consumers prefer is one way merchants may be able to gain a key advantage over their competitors as the next-generation, real-time payments ecosystem takes shape.