During February and March, as many countries imposed necessary restrictions to promote social distancing, a significant majority of consumers turned to contactless card payments. In a recent worldwide Mastercard study, 79 per cent of respondents say they are now using contactless payments, citing safety and cleanliness as key drivers.
This shift in consumer behaviour is particularly clear at checkout, as people express a desire for contactless and voice concerns over cleanliness and safety at the point of sale.
Other findings from the study include:
- Perceptions of safety and convenience have spurred a preference for contactless cards and reminded consumers of the convenience of tapping on a global scale. Globally, nearly half of respondents (46 per cent) have swapped out their top-of-wallet card for one that offers contactless – this proportion climbs to 52 per cent among those under 35 years old.
- The global disruption has led to increased concern from consumers on cash usage and positive perceptions towards contactless due to the peace of mind that it provides. The majority of respondents (82 per cent) view contactless as the cleaner way to pay, and contactless payments are up to 10 times faster than other in-person payment methods, enabling customers to get in and out of stores faster.
- Consumers are making purchases in a very focused way; it’s reinforcing contactless use in markets where adoption is more mature, and it’s stimulating use in newer markets. This trend appears to be here to stay as approximately three quarters (74 per cent) state 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,” said Blake Rosenthal, executive vice president and head of Mastercard Acceptance Solutions, in a press release. “Contactless offers consumers a safer, cleaner way to pay, speed at checkout, and more control over physical proximity at this critical time.”
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry.