44% of Aussies would use crypto if it was simple
Australian consumers’ appetite for seamless, convenient, and secure digital payment methods has continued to grow since the pandemic drove many retailers and small businesses to move online. The shift to a digital shopfront alongside bricks and mortar purchases has led consumers to demand multiple payment options as they embrace contactless payments and omnichannel commerce. According to the Mastercard New Payments Index: The Australia Forecast Report, almost three-quarters (71%) of Aussies surveyed said they now have access to more ways to pay than they did at this time last year.
From checking into venues through QR codes to businesses avoiding cash completely, there has been increased exposure and therefore acceleration of new and alternative payment methods. Just under half (44%) of respondents said that they have tried new payment methods in the last year they wouldn’t have tried were it not for the pandemic. With so many choices available to them, nearly three-quarters (73%) of Australians said their preferred payment method changes based on the situation they are in.
Consumers want more ways to pay
Today consumers can pay with cryptocurrencies, biometric checkout, instalment plans and QR codes. Consumers’ excitement around biometrics is growing, led by younger consumers and those who have already opted into other touch-free methods.
Ease of use and security remain top of mind for Australians when considering their method of payment, with 52% saying that new payment methods like biometrics are more convenient. 42% said they feel safer using biometrics to verify a purchase than entering a pin.
There is still some hesitation in leveraging cryptocurrencies, with only 17% of Australians claiming to be comfortable with using it. However, intrigue is rising with almost one in two Australians (45%) expressing interest in learning more about cryptocurrency, and 44% of Australians being open to using it more if they understood it better.
The shift in payment methods has created an opportunity for retailers to increase the services they offer and build a stronger relationship with consumers. The Mastercard New Payments Index: The Australia Forecast Report reveals that 59% of Australian consumers are more loyal to retailers that offer multiple payment options.
“Australians have made their preferences clear when it comes to how they want to pay for goods and services. Consumers expect choices that offer flexibility and security at every step of the way. If the last year has taught Australians anything when it comes to payments, it’s how secure and easy electronic payments can be. Merchants that provide access to multiple ways to shop and pay are best aligned to meet consumers’ needs,” said Richard Wormald, Division President, Australasia, Mastercard.
The research also revealed that more (65%) Australians are open to using digital payment methods to help them save money, and over half say digital payment methods have already helped them save money (55%). This shows that Aussies not only want more choice in payments, but are looking to digital solutions to improve their financial health.
Consumers place trust in companies that provide tools that keep their financial information secure
Although most Australians say they will consider using at least one emerging payment method in the future, security is still a top concern as 72% of this group are only open to trying if they feel the payment method is safe.
Consumer perceptions of strong security are highest among familiar payment methods such as cash, inserting a card or tapping a contactless card, while emerging technologies such as cryptocurrency, biometrics and mobile SMS, lag behind in consumers’ minds. It’s particularly important for merchants to offer secure digital payment options, with 89% of Australians needing assurance their data is safe before spending.
“Consumers have sent a clear message – they value greater choice, security, convenience, widespread acceptance and a seamless payment experience. In order to facilitate further adoption of digital payment technology, consumers need to be assured that their payments are safe and secure. Merchant transparency when it comes to processing and protecting payments is integral to supporting a payment system that gives consumers the choice they value. Technology solutions such as tokenisation are game changers for retailers and consumers alike, offering a smoother and more secure shopping experience. Australia has some of the most sophisticated consumers in the world who expect and trust that merchants will provide tools that keep their sensitive information protected. Which is why Mastercard continues to develop new, better ways to keep payments safe and is creating a future where all digital transactions are trusted, secure and frictionless,” Wormald concludes.
Contactless transactions soar
Over the same period, Mastercard saw the total number of card-not-present transactions grow by over 30% globally while more than 100 markets saw contactless as a share of total in-person transactions grow by at least 50%. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, Mastercard saw 1 billion more contactless transactions as compared to the same period of 2020, with particular momentum in India and Thailand where usage grew by 2x and 4x respectively year-over-year.
The fast evolution of contactless payments is clear, with the research revealing there are as many people tapping a contactless card as there are using cash.
How Mastercard is facilitating the future of payments
As consumers shop, bank and transact online more than ever, Mastercard recently announced that it has strengthened its Digital First program in Asia Pacific to maximise the safety, security and convenience of e-commerce, online banking and touchless transactions. With the collaboration of a range of innovative partners, the program offers consumers the ease of applying online, rapid access to begin making purchases, flexibility and peace-of-mind while shopping. In addition, consumers enjoy an array of payment options spanning digital cards, direct payments from bank accounts via smartphones, smartwatches or any other digital device.