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96% of consumers in Nigeria consider wearables, biometrics in payment patterns

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Mastercard New Payments Index confirms development

As the world went into pandemic lockdown in 2020, consumers shifted their spending habits to embrace contactless tap-and-go payments and online shopping. As stores closed and social distancing took hold, retailers worldwide moved their businesses online, embraced e-commerce and explored the potential of new ways to pay.

More than a year later, research from Mastercard shows that the adoption of new payment technologies is rising, and consumer appetite for new, fast and flexible digital experiences continues to grow.

The Mastercard New Payments Index shows 96 per cent of Nigerian consumers will consider using at least one emerging payment method, such as cryptocurrency, biometrics, contactless, or QR code, in the next year.

Over two-thirds of respondents (66 per cent) agree they have tried a new payment method they would not have tried under normal circumstances, but the pandemic has galvanised people to try flexible new payment options to get what they want when they want it.

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With this interest and consumer demand also comes a greater expectation for businesses to provide multiple ways to shop and pay. In fact, 81 per cent of Nigerian consumers say they are more excited about shopping at retailers, which offer the latest payment methods.

Additionally, 78 per cent of Nigerian consumers said that digital payment methods help them save money. Chief Product Officer at Mastercard, Craig Vosburg, said the pandemic made the world think differently, partly out of necessity.

“To deliver the choice and flexibility that consumers need – and increasingly expect –retailers worldwide need to offer a range of payment solutions that are easy to access and always on. As we look ahead, we need to continue to enable all choices, both in-store and online, to shape the fabric of commerce and make the digital economy work for everyone,” he stated.

The index showed that contactless technology was the digital catalyst to explore new payment options because of its fast, secure, and touch-free experience.
It revealed that between the first quarter of 2020 and the same period in 2021, more than 100 markets saw contactless as a share of total in-person transactions grew by at least 50 per cent.

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MasterCard said a year into the COVID-19 pandemic, contactless is showing it is staying power and dynamism – in the first quarter of 2021 alone, it saw one billion more contactless transactions worldwide as compared to the same period of 2020.

According to Mastercard, all signs point to a continued growth path for contactless, with nearly seven in 10 consumers globally anticipating using a contactless card this year.

Division President, Mastercard, Sub-Saharan Africa, Raghav Prasad, said: “The world as we now know it has changed dramatically since the outbreak of the pandemic, accelerating long-term shifts in a consumer transaction and payment methods. We continue to work with our merchants, fintech and banking partners to rapidly innovate payment options that meet consumer needs while ensuring we drive financial and digital inclusion.”

Looking to the future, Mastercard said digital currencies and wallets, wearables, biometrics, contactless and QR codes are trending as emerging payments technologies as people’s comfort with them and understanding of them increases and the use of cash decreases.

It disclosed that 86 per cent of consumers in Nigeria have more ways to pay compared to this time last year. The exploding interest in new payment technologies may encourage businesses to expand their options at the checkout.

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