By Bernd Debusmann Jr
The disruptions caused by Covid-19 have led to increased concern about the safety of using cash
Contactless card transactions spiked by 100 percent in March 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic compared to the same month in 2019, according to new data from Mastercard.
According to a Mastercard study on contactless payments, 73 percent of respondents in the UAE have swapped their top-of-wallet card for one that offers the option of contactless payments.
The data shows that 82 percent of UAE respondents consider contactless to be their preferred method of payment.
Globally, the disruptions caused by Covid-19 have led to increased concern about the safety of using cash.
In the UAE, 71 percent of consumers said they are now using some form of contactless payment, while 84 percent said that contactless is a cleaner way to pay, and 85 percent said they believe it to be more convenient than cash.
Additionally, 78 percent of UAE respondents said that contactless payment methods have been easy to adopt.
The Mastercard statistics show that 74 percent of UAE respondents said that the Covid-19 pandemic has led them to use less cash, while 83 percent of UAE respondents said that they will continue to do so after the pandemic has passed.
“The UAE government is setting a great example of keeping residents safe and in addition to social distancing between people, this should also apply to publicly shared devices, like point of sales terminals and checkout counters,” said Girish Nanda, Mastercard’s general manager for the UAE and Oman.
“Contactless is already quite prevalent in the UAE, though conditions resulting from this pandemic are advancing consumer adoption further,” he added. “UAE shoppers are increasingly recognising contactless as a safer, more hygienic, faster way to pay, especially since control over physical proximity is critical at that moment.”