MasterCard has marked the issuance of its 20 millionth PayPass device with a consumer survey that indicates a growing acceptance of contactless payments as a replacement for hard cash.
The Global Cash Usage Survey conducted in 13 countries in 2007 by KRC Research suggests that a growing majority (55%) of consumers worldwide believe that one day there will be a cashless society where credit and debit cards will replace cash and checks for payments.
Three quarters of respondents believe that it is no longer necessary to have lots of cash on hand, while two-thirds use cash less often than five years ago to make purchases.
Convenience and speed - the traditional attributes of cash - were cited as key benefits of contactless technology, with about half the sample saying they would be likely to use an NFC card if provided by their financial institution.
Art Kranzley, group executive, advanced payments at MasterCard Worldwide, states: "By leading a new wave of payment innovation that is displacing cash while creating a more efficient system of global commerce, MasterCard is making transactions faster, easier, and more secure for consumers, merchants and financial institutions that is also advancing commerce worldwide."
As of November 2007, there are over 20 million PayPass cards and devices in the market and over 80,000 merchant locations around the world that accept PayPass. The technology has also proved popular in sporting arenas and is being developed to accommodate new markets such as vending machines, taxis and mass transit.