Mastercard reports 40% growth in contactless transaction volumes

“We have seen over 40% growth in contactless transactions worldwide in the first quarter,” Mastercard president Michael Miebach has revealed, with “more than half of new tappers saying they will continue to use contactless once this pandemic is over.”


“In our conversations with banks, we see a renewed commitment to accelerate the issuance of new contactless cards,” Miebach added during the company’s Q1 2020 earnings call.

“The first rounds of consumer research tell us that people do want to spend less cash,” he explained.

“We’ve just done a study in the United States, where 60% of people said exactly that.”

The study surveyed 17,000 consumers in 19 countries around the world and also found that:

  • 79% of respondents say they now use contactless payments.
  • Globally, nearly half of respondents (46%) have swapped their top-of-wallet card for one that offers contactless. The proportion climbs to 52% among under 35-year-olds.
  • The global disruption has led to increased consumer concerns about using cash and positive perceptions about contactless “due to the peace of mind that it provides”. 82% say they now view contactless as the cleaner way to pay.
  • The pandemic is “reinforcing contactless use in markets where adoption is more mature, and it’s stimulating use in newer markets”. 74% say they will continue to use contactless post-pandemic.

Analysis of Mastercard transaction data has further found that the number of contactless transactions grew twice as fast as the number of non-contactless transactions at grocery stores and pharmacies during February and March.

It also revealed that 80% of contactless transactions are under US$25, “a range that is typically dominated by cash,” Mastercard says.

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