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How to ride the $300 billion ‘contactless economy’ megatrend, according to Citi

Humanoid robot “Prepper” stands on April 2, 2020 at the cash desk of a supermarket of the Edeka retail chain in Lindlar, Germany, to explain protective measures and to promote solidarity with each other, amid the novel coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic.

Ina Fassbender | AFP | Getty Images

(This story is for CNBC Pro subscribers only.)

The coronavirus pandemic is propelling a paradigm shift toward a contactless society, which created a golden moment for a handful of stocks at the forefront of advanced technology, including 3D sensors, speedy connectivity and AI processors.

Citi estimated that the global contactless economy will double to $300 billion by 2024 as the pandemic disrupts human touch in daily life and accelerates distanced interactions between the physical and digital worlds. 

“The next stage, underway years before Covid-19 but likely to be accelerated by it, will be arguably the most revolutionary of all, in that it will remove physical contact from the equation,” Citi analyst Arthur Lai said in a note. “The contactless economy is already underway, of course, but is only in its infancy relative to its potential and trends already visible.”

The Wall Street firm highlighted a number of stocks as prime beneficiaries of rapid developments toward a booming contactless economy.

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