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Kiwis ditch cash, embrace digital payments

Kiwis around the country are embracing digital payments, according to new research from MasterCard. In fact, 49% of New Zealanders expect we will not be using cash in ten years' time, with mobile devices, biometrics and wearables becoming the norm, the research shows.

“New Zealanders are early adopters of technology and are increasingly seeking fast, convenient and secure ways to pay. Retailers who are offering new technologies such as contactless payments are finding it a fast, reliable and easy way for customers to pay and provides a positive customer experience,” says Peter Chisnall, MasterCard New Zealand country manager.

He says, “MasterCard encourages retailers to ensure their terminals are enabled to accept contactless payments because this technology not only supports the use of contactless cards, but opens the door to emerging payment technologies, such as mobile payments."

The research shows transactions made with cash will continue to decrease, with 36% of consumers saying they could live without cash and only use emerging payment technologies in just a few years' time. On top of this, 41% of people say they would already consider using contactless technology on their smartphone.

When asked about new payment technologies, 44% think mobile payments will be the next thing to take off in New Zealand. This was followed by biometrics/facial recognition/fingerprints (21%) and wearable technology including smartwatches (18%).

Safety and speed are not just important for consumers shopping in store but also online. Security remains the biggest concern when shopping online (49% stated this was their top concern), ensuring you are dealing with a legitimate business (35%) and whether the quality will be as described/expected (34%).

Interestingly, concern about online security of personal and banking details has decreased in this years' survey as Kiwis become more comfortable and confident to conduct more personal business online, with 66% of New Zealanders making purchases online at least once a month, according to the research.

The survey found the biggest concern with shopping online is the security of banking and personal details (49% top concern), down from 60% in 2015, as people become more confident with online shopping.

“It is natural that safety is a primary concern when transacting online. Using a trusted digital platform […] allows consumers to use any payment card or enabled device to go beyond plastic and discover enhanced shopping experiences that are as simple as a click, tap or touch – online, in-store or anywhere,” Chisnall says.

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