Mastercard: More consumers are open to using emerging payment methods amid the pandemic

There is no doubt that consumers are more open to new payment technologies amid the pandemic. In a recent study, APAC consumers have expressed that they are even open to various emerging payment methods, including QR codes and cryptocurrencies.

The latest Mastercard New Payments Index showed that QR codes gained strong traction in APAC. Of those who used QR codes for payment, 63% said they used them more frequently in the last year than they had in the past. In APAC, the majority of respondents perceived new payment methods like QR codes to be cleaner (76%) and more convenient (71%) for in person payments since it is as simple as using their mobile devices.

Also, consumers were also increasingly showing interest in being able to spend crypto assets for everyday purchases. 45% of respondents in APAC said they were likely to consider using cryptocurrency in the next year – a huge jump over the 12% that already used it in the last year – and higher than the global average of 40%. Millennials and centennials were relatively more comfortable using cryptocurrency (41%) compared to Gen X and Boomers (26%), with 71% of millennials saying they were more open to using it than they were a year ago.

The study also examined the use of biometrics. 64% of consumers in APAC said they were excited about the potential of biometric verification methods like gait or walk assessments and fingerprint authorisation. In fact, 62% felt safer using biometrics to verify a purchase than entering a pin.

Every payment method may spark concern among consumers. However, 79% indicated they would be open to trying new payment technologies if they perceived them to be safe, while 85% wanted to be sure that the available payment options at merchants were secure. On the flip side, the top reasons given for not trying new payment methods included security concerns (47%) and data protection concerns (42%).

“Consumers in Asia Pacific have already gained recognition globally for their openness to new technologies and innovation, and these findings confirmed that this trend is only set to continue as more digital payment options rapidly become mainstream in this part of the world," said Sandeep Malhotra, executive vice president, products and innovation, APAC at Mastercard.

Looking ahead, the use of a range of payment technologies is trending upwards as people’s comfort with and understanding of them increases, while the use of cash steadily decreases. In fact, in the coming year, 69% of respondents in APAC said they planned to use cash less frequently. Meanwhile, digital or mobile wallets have gained significant popularity among consumers in APAC, with 68% of respondents anticipating using this type of payment in the next year – higher than the global average of 62%.