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Kiwis ditch cash as digital payments increase

Kiwis ditch cash as digital payments increase

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Auckland, New Zealand – May 3, 2017 – Over two-thirds of New Zealanders have admitted they do not carry cash as digital payment methods increase in popularity, according to new research from Mastercard.

An annual Mastercard survey of over 1000 New Zealanders found cards are increasingly popular as a preferred payment method, with more than 90% choosing cards as their main payment method.

“New Zealanders are embracing ways to pay that are fast, convenient and secure. Acceptance of card payments, and increasingly contactless payments, means New Zealanders are less reliant on cash for everyday transactions,” says Peter Chisnall, Country Manager for New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Half of New Zealanders don’t think we will be using cash in ten years’ time – which is consistent with the survey’s 2016 findings – and Mastercard expects cash transactions to continue to decrease, with 41% of consumers saying they could live without cash and only use emerging payment technologies in just a few years’ time.

In the progression towards becoming a cashless society, 44% of Kiwis believe New Zealand is on track to handle an exclusively card and digital wallet economy, but 38% of people say retailers need to do more to embrace new payment innovations.

“New Zealanders expect to see more emerging payment methods like mobile payments and biometrics in the near future – but there is more to do before they become mainstream. Terminal upgrades and contactless enablement are helping consumers and retailers alike take advantage of new payment technology and consumer demand is only increasing,” adds Chisnall.

When shopping online, security remains the biggest concern (35% top concern), and 63% of people are looking for a safer online shopping experience. Security concerns are significantly down from 60% in 2016 (top concern), as people become more comfortable shopping online in their day-to-day lives. Two thirds of respondents said they shop online at least once a month.

“It is natural that safety is the top concern when paying for something online – or in-store for that matter. Using trusted online retailers and knowing you are protected by Mastercard Zero Liability means Kiwis can have peace of mind that they are protected when shopping online or in-store,” says Chisnall.

One in 10 respondents have used a digital or cloud-based wallet when shopping online. A digital wallet, such asMasterpass by Mastercard, is a cloud-based wallet where payment and delivery information is stored securely to make checking out online quicker and easier.

As a technology company, Mastercard’s drive to deliver value to consumers, merchants and retailers, and banks is at the heart of its research and investment in supporting new and innovative payments technology. Through outreach to developers and entrepreneurs, Mastercard helps to facilitate improvements across the payments eco-system that will generate future innovations and in New Zealand, Mastercard is proud to be an industry partner of the Kiwibank FinTech Accelerator, powered by Lightning Lab, a three month programme to give start-ups a boost.

The programme provides eight teams of entrepreneurs a platform to turn their financial technology ideas into real businesses, where Mastercard and other industry partners provide guidance to test their concepts, help them compete on a global scale and potentially bring the next big payment innovation to life.

When asked about which mode of payment technology will next take-off, 59% of those surveyed think mobile payments, followed by wearable technology like smartwatches (47%) and biometrics such as facial recognition and fingerprints (42%).


About the research

This monthly Perceptive Omnibus surveyed 1007 New Zealanders online in December 2016 using a nationwide sampling framework. The results are then weighted to Statistics New Zealand census gender, age and location data.

The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent Mastercard’s financial performance.

About Mastercard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardAP and @MastercardNZ, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

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