The impact that the global pandemic and lockdowns have had on digital has been well documented, with ecommerce and streaming in particular thriving as a result. In the case of the payment space, Mastercard has released a survey as regards South Africa consumer behaviour since the pandemic started last year.
To that end the company’s New Payments Index pinpoints precisely how much digital payments have flourished in the past year, as well as offering some insight to digital players on what they need to prioritise.
One of the key findings is that variety is the spice of life when it comes to making a payment. As such, 75 percent of local consumers are likely to be more loyal to a brand or site if it supports multiple payment options. Added to this, 77 percent of South African consumers would chose a small business if it offered more ways to pay.
“The pandemic made us think differently, partly out of necessity,” says Craig Vosburg, chief product officer at Mastercard about the findings.
“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 adds.
Consumers are keeping an open mind too when it comes to new payment methods. This as 95 percent indicated that they would consider using at least one emerging payment method, such as cryptocurrency, biometrics, contactless or QR codes in the next year.
The driver in this department has been the pandemic, with the Index noting that over two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) agreeing that they tried a new payment method they would not have tried under normal circumstances.
The pandemic has seemingly changed South Africans’ attitudes to payments in general.
“With this interest and consumer demand also comes a greater expectation for businesses to provide multiple ways to shop and pay. In fact, more than half (57%) of South African consumers say they would avoid businesses that do not accept electronic payments of any kind,” adds a press release related to the Index.
The same sentiment appears to happen across the globe.
The Mastercard report explains 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 grow by at least 50 percent.
“A year into COVID-19, contactless is showing its staying power and dynamism – in the first quarter of 2021 alone, Mastercard saw 1 billion more contactless transactions globally as compared to the same period of 2020. All signs point to a continued growth path for contactless, with nearly 7 in 10 consumers globally anticipating using a contactless card this year,” the company adds.
For small businesses operating in the country, the evidence shows that researching, identifying and adopting emerging payment solutions will prove vital moving forward.
“Businesses and retailers – both large and small – are faced with the challenge of ensuring fast, simple and secure payment options across channels as consumers increasingly want to shop and pay how they want. For those that are willing and able to adapt, this is an opportunity to build competitive advantage and a memorable customer experience,” points out Suzanne Morel, country manager at Mastercard South Africa.
All the insights from the Mastercard New Payments Index can be found here.
[Image – CC 0 Pixabay]