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Mastercard study reveals global consumer adoption to contactless payments

In a COVID-19 struck world, social distancing has become the new norms. With physical contact being the primary culprit in the virus spread, people are looking for ways to avoid it. According to a study conducted by MasterCard, 79 percent of worldwide respondents say they are now using contactless payments, citing safety and cleanliness as key drivers. The FinTech reports that consumers globally are making the move to contactless payments for everyday purchases, seeking touch-free payment experiences. The study was performed by consumer polling, the changing consumer behaviours in 19 countries around the world.

The Mastercard study reveals that shoppers around the world have had to adjust to social distancing measures and other challenges when buying everyday supplies for their families and loved ones. This shift in consumer behaviour is particularly visible at checkout, as people express a desire for contactless and voice concerns over cleanliness and safety at the point of sale. The findings show that:

  • Contactless move to the top of wallet: Safety and convenience have spurred an increased demand for contactless cards and reminded consumers of the comfort of tapping on a global scale. Globally, nearly half of respondents (46 percent) have swapped out their top-of-wallet card on one that offers contactless. This proportion climbs to 52 percent among those under 35 years old.
  • Confidence in contactless: Ther has been an increased concern among consumers on cash usage and positive perceptions towards contactless. The majority of respondents (82 percent) view contactless as the cleaner way to pay, and contactless payments are up to 10 times faster than other in-person payment methods, helping consumers to move in and out of stores without touching terminals.
  • Contactless is here to stay: The trend appears to be here to stay as approx. three quarters (74 percent) states they will continue to use contactless post-pandemic.

“Social distancing does not just concern people’s interactions with each other; it includes contact with publicly shared devices like point of sale terminals and checkout counters. Contactless offer consumers a safer, cleaner way to pay, speed at checkout, and more control over physical proximity at this critical time,” said Blake Rosenthal, Executive Vice President and Head of Mastercard Acceptance Solutions.

Mastercard has been spearheading the worldwide shift to contactless payments. The company has revealed that there has been over 40 percent growth in contactless transactions globally in the first quarter of 2020. Further, 80 percent of contactless transactions are under $25, the typical cash dominated range. Its shown that globally, the number of contactless transactions between February and March has grown twice as fast as the number of non-contactless transactions at grocery stores and pharmacies.

The FinTech has recently announced its commitment to increase contactless payment limits in more than 50 countries worldwide across the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, New Zealand, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Canada, among others.

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