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Contactless payments fast becoming ‘everyday’ for Kiwis

news release
Contactless payments fast becoming ‘everyday’ for Kiwis

First Christmas shopping season with widespread contactless payments, provides benefits for retailers and consumers

Auckland, 12 December 2013 – New independent research shows New Zealanders are increasingly using contactless cards to pay for purchases under $80, choosing to “wave and go” for everyday shopping such as filling their petrol tank or shopping trolley.

A New Zealand payments survey by global business intelligence provider RFi has found in just six months, awareness of contactless cards has grown to 86 per cent[1], ownership is up to 36 per cent[2], and usage has more than doubled to 18 per cent from seven per cent in May this year.

Younger New Zealanders are more likely to own and use a contactless card – nearly half (45 per cent) of 25 to 34 year olds have a contactless card in their wallet and one in four use their card.

The average value of a consumer’s most recent purchase made on a contactless card was NZ$41.30 in November, compared to NZ$47.20 in May, a reflection of the increased volume of payments and the technology being more widely used for smaller everyday purchases.

Caroline Ada, Visa Country Manager, New Zealand and South Pacific, says the rise in contactless card usage is consistent with Visa’s figures.

“We’re now seeing more than one million[3] Visa payWave transactions a month and that’s a significant leap when you consider we were at a standing start in New Zealand this time last year. It’s interesting to see the average purchase value coming down, which is also a sign of more widespread usage.

“Contactless payments are becoming a regular and accepted way for Kiwis to pay, as people experience the speed and convenience of Visa payWave coupled with the technology becoming more common. We now have more than 1.5 million Visa payWave cards and more than 12,000 payment terminals around the country.”

Petrol stations and supermarkets are where New Zealanders are taking advantage of the convenience of contactless payments the most, with nearly half (42 per cent) of Kiwis who have used their contactless card paying for fuel or groceries. Cafes and fast-food outlets have also seen a sharp rise[4] in contactless payments in the past six months, with the technology making it even quicker for New Zealanders to get their coffees and takeaway meals.

The Warehouse is one such retailer seeing the benefits of contactless technology for customers and service staff, particularly during busy shopping periods such as Christmas.

“As part of The Warehouse’s multi-million dollar store refurbishment strategy to deliver the optimal shopping experience for our customers, we have introduced contactless payment terminals nationwide in all shopping lanes, for the first time,” says Mark Powell, The Warehouse Group (TW Group) CEO.

“As we head into Christmas, our busiest shopping period, we are already seeing the value they bring by reducing queue time and speeding up the checkout process. It is another example of how we are using innovation to ensure a positive shopping experience for our customers and we will be introducing this service in the New Year to Warehouse Stationery Ltd and Noel Leeming Group,” he says.

Along with The Warehouse, contactless payments can be made at retailers such as BP, Z Energy, Farmers and Glassons as well as at a growing number of quick service restaurants including SUBWAY.


About Visa
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world’s most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 47,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit

About RFi’s research methodology
RFi conducted an independent survey in November 2013 of 2,000 nationally representative New Zealand adults on what they think about a range of payment issues from their financial situation, current payment habits and views about emerging ways to pay and be paid. The survey was conducted online and sent out to respondents via an html link.
[1] 67 per cent awareness (May 2013)
[2] 21 per cent ownership (May 2013)
[3] Source: VisaNet (October 2013)
[4] 18 per cent usage at cafes, up from 9 per cent and 15 per cent usage at takeaways/fast food outlets, up from 5 per cent (May to November 2013)

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