Citizen Reporter
1 minute read
30 Apr 2020
12:27 pm

Contactless credit card payments show huge increase over Covid lockdown

Citizen Reporter

A recent Mastercard study shows South African consumers are making making the move to contactless payments for everyday purchases to minimise the risk of Covid-19 spread.

Credit cards. Picture: iStock

  • In a Mastercard global consumer study, 75% of South African consumers said they used contactless payments
  • 88 percent of South African respondents now view contactless as a cleaner way to pay, with 71% preferring to shop at merchants where contactless is accepted
  • In South Africa, the number of contactless transactions grew by 13 times in March 2020 compared to March 2019 in the grocery and pharmacy categories, where many day-to-day essentials were being purchased

“The act of buying everyday supplies such as eggs, toilet paper, medicine and other necessities has changed dramatically, with shoppers having to adjust to social distancing measures and other new challenges,” says Mark Elliott, division president for Mastercard Southern Africa.

“According to a new Mastercard study, this shift in 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.”

Nearly half of South African respondents have swapped out their top-of-wallet card for one that offers contactless.

The 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.

Forty-four percent of South African respondents said they had reduced their use of cash while 20 percent said they did not use cash at all since the pandemic began. Eighty-seven percent of South African respondents were concerned about the cleanliness of signature or touch pads, and the majority (88%) viewed contactless as the cleaner way to pay. About 79% said contactless payments were faster than cash, enabling customers to get in and out of stores quicker.

Sixty-nine percent of South African respondents agreed that contactless was now their preferred payment method, with 78% saying they would continue to use contactless post-pandemic.

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