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March 2nd, 2021

Consumers Embracing Contactless Payments During Pandemic

Around 60% of consumers claim to have increased their use of contactless payments during the pandemic, new research reveals.

The survey, commissioned by technology mounting solution firm Ergonomic Solutions, shows 63% of respondents have reduced their use of cash since March 2020 and 57% plan to use contactless payment methods whenever they can in the future, even after all Covid-19 restrictions are lifted.

Respondents said they choose contactless payment methods when available because it’s more hygienic than using cash (57%), the convenience of not needing a PIN (47%), it’s quicker (47%), the new limit enables more contactless transactions (45%), the convenience of not having to carry cash (39%), it’s available in more places than ever (34%), and it makes me feel safer during the pandemic (27%).

The survey also indicates that there is an appetite from consumers for even more ways to pay using new technology. Almost 40% of respondents said that they would be happy to use mobile points of sale rather than traditional tills, citing faster payments (79%), not needing cash to hand (36%), and better customer service (28%) as the main reasons why.

In another survey by the Mastercard Foundation, the survey shows fear of contracting Covid-19 from ‘infected’ currency notes has fuelled contactless transactions with 80 per cent of payments below Sh2,500.

The first quarter study that covered Kenya and other 18 Middle East and African countries found the transactions (where human contact is limited) had grown by 40 per cent revealing a major shift on small payments that are usually dominated by cash payment.

“Social distancing does not just concern people, it includes publicly shared devices like point of sale terminals and checkout counters. At a time of heightened sensitivity to personal contact, consumers are adopting contactless as part of their new ‘no-contact’ behaviour,” said Mastercard East Africa Business head Adam Jones.

He added: “The results of this survey underline that necessity, as customers look for different ways to pay in person, that support their own social distancing and personal welfare concerns.”

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