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Tackling misconceptions around contactless technology

Research shows approximately half (48%) of New Zealanders believe they will live in a cashless society in the next ten years, and almost the same amount of Kiwis (46%) think retailers need to be doing more to embrace new payment innovations.

A recent Mastercard survey of more than 1,000 New Zealand consumers, found that while 42% of Kiwis believe they could live without cash and use only digital and emerging payment technologies within the space of a few years, many (60%) also believe retailers are not yet properly set up to handle the future of payments.

“How we pay for goods and services continues to evolve and Kiwis’ adoption of new technology continues to increase. Consumers want faster, more convenient and more secure shopping experiences including contactless technology – where your card doesn’t even have to leave your hand,” says Ruth Riviere, Country Manager of Mastercard New Zealand and Pacific Islands.

“Today, all terminals in New Zealand can accept contactless payment technology, but it is up to the retailer whether they switch this functionality on. As more Kiwis look to use their phones and other contactless devices to make purchases, we encourage retailers to consider switching on.”

According to the research, supermarkets, petrol stations and retail shops were the top three retailer segments where consumers are using contactless technology, followed by cafés and convenience stores.

Lisa Petrowski, Cookie Bar Retail Manager, says contactless payments help her business to focus on the more fun elements of its operations. “We always have people waiting outside when we open at 8am for our $1 coffee happy hour. It’s quite a large queue first thing, so our customers’ ability to ‘tap and go’ has definitely sped this up. There’s always lots happening so switching on has really helped by making our transactions smoother and faster.”

Today, 73% of Kiwis are making purchases using credit or debit contactless payments, and this is expected to increase in the coming years.

According to Riviere, Kiwis love the ease of being able to ‘tap and go’. “Aside from the convenience, contactless is one of the most secure ways to pay – just as secure as a regular credit or debit card, and more secure than cash. By simply tapping the card on the terminal, the card remains in the customer's hand at all times, improving the speed and security of the transaction. Plus, if a consumer is unlucky enough to have their card stolen and used, then unlike cash, if they report it to their bank immediately they’ll be protected by Mastercard’s Zero Liability policy, so won’t end up worse off.”

“The same is true for retailers. The fees charged for having contactless technology covers things like guaranteeing the business will get paid for every transaction made and protecting the businesses from credit card fraud and security. With benefits on both sides, being able to facilitate card payments ultimately helps create and improve customer experience, encouraging loyalty,” adds Riviere.

Find out more about how contactless technology works and how you can Switch On at

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