Mastercard: Cash Isn’t King Any Longer

In a global Mastercard study conducted in 15 markets around the world, consumers demonstrated that they are moving away from cash and opting for contact-free and digital payments experiences, and they may not go back to old habits even after the COVID-19 pandemic wanes.

About seven in 10 consumers around the world said the shift to digital payments will likely be permanent, according to a survey launched on April 27, and almost half of consumers plan to use cash less after the pandemic subsides, Mastercard reported.

As the pandemic lingers, 46% of respondents in Asia Pacific said they are using cash less often, while two-thirds of Latin American respondents said they are using cash less or not at all. In Europe, which had the greatest contactless payments adoption of any region, 64% of respondents noted that tap and pay is now their preferred way to purchase in-store.

Naturally, e-commerce plays a role as well. Mastercard’s newly released “Recovery Insights: Shift to Digital” report, indicates that United States e-commerce spending grew by 93% year-over-year in the month of May, which would necessarily shift more purchasing away from cash.

“While no one could have predicted the state of the world we’re in today, it has reinforced the necessity for us to continue evolving the consumer payment experience to meet the consumer wherever they are,” Jorn Lambert, Mastercard evp/digital solutions, said in announcing the research. “We’ve been focused on building our Digital First capabilities for years, which have enabled this accelerated shift to digital payments; it’s unlikely consumers will revert to old payment habits.”