The number of people using contactless payments has jumped over 20 per cent compared to just a year ago, according to MasterCard research.

The MasterCard survey of over 1000 New Zealanders found 85 per cent of Kiwis have increased their use of contactless payments over the past year.

Two thirds of New Zealanders are regularly using the technology citing it is convenient and saves time.

Uptake of contactless technology has accelerated as people are using it to make small everyday purchases. The number of frequent users is up a third on last years’ survey.

“New Zealand has been one of the fastest countries to adopt contactless technology – for the simple reason that it is easy, safe and fast. Customers can simply tap their card on a contactless terminal and go. The card remains in the customer’s hands at all times which improves speed and security of the transaction,” said Peter Chisnall, MasterCard New Zealand country manager.

Over a third of respondents said they get frustrated when retailers do not have contactless technology available.

“More and more consumers are choosing to use contactless technology when making a purchase, a trend we expect to see continue as demand pushes retailers to make the technology more widely available in-store.”

Whilst more Kiwis are embracing the technology, the research shows there is still a perceived risk with contactless payments for many, with 85 per cent believing the main disadvantage was the potential for unauthorised purchases to be made if a card is lost or stolen, and half referring to perceived security risks at the payment terminal.

“Nevertheless Kiwis are increasingly confident with how contactless technology works, and enjoying the benefits of the faster and more convenient way to pay for purchases.

“Additionally since the introduction of chip-enabled cards and contactless technology, our data reveals we have not seen any increase in fraud, which remains at exceptionally low levels.

“We continue to remind our cardholders about the Zero Liability Protection available on all our consumer MasterCard cards, meaning they can shop without having to worry about unauthorised purchases.”