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Contactless payments becoming popular in APAC: MasterCard

Nurdianah Md Nur | April 2, 2015
Emerging markets are driving cash out of the payment system through mobile Point of Sale adoption.

Consumers across the Asia Pacific region are warming up to contactless payments, suggested findings from MasterCard.

According to the payment provider, the number of unique contactless users (also called tappers) increased by 49 percent in 2014 as compared to that in 2013.

Australia leads the way, with contactless payments accounting nearly two-thirds of all MasterCard in-store transactions. Singapore reported high growth rates too -- the number of MasterCard tappers in the republic more than doubled in 2014 as compared to 2013; and as of December 2014, one third of all supermarket transactions were found to be contactless.

Besides Australia and Singapore, consumers in Hong Kong and New Zealand are catching on to this trend. Respondents of a MasterCard survey in New Zealand cited time-saving (62 percent), convenience and easy to use (58 percent) as top reasons for using such payment method.

mPOS drives cash out of emerging markets
According to Raj Dhamodharan, MasterCard's Group Head of Emerging Payments in Asia/Pacific, mobile Point of Sale (mPOS) is a key driver of contactless payments in emerging markets. "Mobile devices are giving smaller merchants the capability to transform the payments experience for their customers, especially at POS, as they now can accept card payments. This in turn is helping to displace cash in the country, paving the way for a cashless society."

With this understanding, MasterCard has been partnering banks and telcos to roll out its mPOS technology in the Asia Pacific region.For instance, MasterCard has collaborated with Philippines telco Globe to empower small and medium businesses to accept debit and credit card payments via mPOS, enabling them to expand their businesses further. Similarly in Vietnam, MasterCard worked with Sacombank to equip small merchants at Ben Thanh Market with mPOS terminals to allow them to accept cash, as well as credit and debit card payments.


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