Half of New Zealand businesses are falling behind as more consumers and businesses Switch On to contactless payments.

Mastercard research found over 50 percent of bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants accept contactless payments, but half of Kiwi businesses are lagging in acceptance.

“It’s great that half of Kiwi businesses understand the benefits they can get from accepting contactless payments and have turned the technology on. The Switch On campaign aims to provide information to those retailers who have not yet enabled the technology, perhaps because they have misconceptions about how it works or think their customers don’t want it,” says Peter Chisnall, Country Manager for Mastercard New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

A recent Mastercard survey of over 1000 New Zealand consumers found 78 percent of respondents said they had increased their use of contactless payments in the past year, citing it as convenient and easy (75 percent) and saves time (73 percent).

44 percent of those surveyed said they use contactless most in supermarkets, followed by 21 percent in retail shops.

If available, New Zealanders said they would value using contactless payments most at retail shops (24 percent), cafés and coffee shops (23 percent) and petrol stations (18 percent).

Many Kiwi businesses are already seeing the benefits of switching on to contactless payments.

Seven Mart manager Farid Rahabneh says “As a convenience store we want to be convenient for the customer. We switched to contactless 8 months ago because of demand from our customers – and since switching we have found we’ve saved a lot of time, as well as made our customers happier.”

Despite growing acceptance and familiarity, contactless payments still suffer from some perceived security concerns, with 88 percent of New Zealanders fearing if they lost their card it could be used for small purchases, and 44 percent believing there are security risks at the terminal.

“Contactless payments are one of the most secure ways to pay. By simply tapping your card on the terminal, the card remains in the customer's hands at all times which improves the speed and security of the transaction. In addition, Mastercard holders can feel confident that even if they are unlucky enough to have their card is stolen or used fraudulently, they are covered with Zero Liability protection,” adds Chisnall.

Shane Howell, Chief Product Officer, Westpac, says “We can see some of the misconceptions about contactless payments being debunked by customers and retailers alike as use increases – with lots of people knowing they can use it for purchases over $80 when using their PIN. We encourage retailers who haven’t yet turned on the technology to check out the information on the Switch On website so they can understand what benefits they might be missing out on.”

Find out more about how contactless technology works and how you can Switch On at