One in two in-person transactions authorised, cleared and settled through Mastercard’s payment processing services worldwide during Q4 2021 were contactless, up from “approximately” one in three in the period prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to figures revealed at the card network’s Q4 earnings call.
In total, Mastercard switched transaction volumes for Q4 increased by 27% year-on-year and were up by 133% on 2019 levels, the figures show.
“We’re making great progress in expanding contactless acceptance by turning the world’s billions of active smartphones into potential acceptance devices, enabling people to buy and sell whenever, wherever they want,” Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach said during the call.
“We now have 100 deployments of tap-on-phone in over 50 markets with leading partners globally.
“Contactless penetration increased to one and two of our in-person switch transactions globally this quarter. This is up from approximately one in three prior to the pandemic.
“And with that, the potential for accelerated acceptance growth, financial inclusion and consumer convenience is substantial.”
Miebach also confirmed that Mastercard is “on schedule” to roll out its open-loop instalment payments programme in the US during Q1 and is “actively bringing new partners into the program […] in the Middle East, Africa”.
“We’re also bringing capabilities, experience and reach to help enable the crypto ecosystem,” he added.
“Our new collaboration with Coinbase will allow consumers to use their Mastercard to purchase NFTs.
“And our CBDC Sandbox Test Platform, which we launched in 2020, continues to gain traction. We’re helping central banks, financial institutions and fintechs simulate the issuance and distribution of CBDCs along with the integration of CBDCs with our card network, our real-time payment modules and native blockchain wallets.”
In May 2021 Mastercard reported 1bn additional contactless transactions in Q1 2021 compared with the same period of 2020 and forecast that more than nine in ten consumers worldwide would consider using digital payments including contactless and cryptocurrency transactions the following year..