Mastercard says that the coronavirus pandemic has galvanized us all into exploring alternative payment methods beyond cash.
Global interest in crypto payments is growing, a new Mastercard survey suggests — with 40% of consumers polled in the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa saying they are planning to use digital assets to make a purchase in the next 12 months.
As you might expect, millennials (those born between 1981 and 1996) are especially likely to be interested in this payment method. A staggering 77% of millennials want to learn more about how cryptocurrencies work, while 75% say they would be prepared to start using BTC and altcoins if they understood them better.
The research was performed as part of the Mastercard New Payments Index, which aims to gauge public reactions to emerging payment methods. Overall, 93% of those polled will consider using at least one cutting-edge way of settling transactions — such as crypto, biometrics, QR codes or contactless.
COVID ‘Made Us Think Differently’
According to the company (which itself is working on plans to allow millions of customers to use cryptocurrencies if they so wish,) the coronavirus pandemic has “galvanized people to try flexible new payment options to get what they want, when they want it.” Mastercard’s chief product officer Craig Vosburg explained:
“The pandemic made us think differently, partly out of necessity. 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.”
Part of this change has been driven by the declining use of cash. This can be traced back to how many brick-and-mortar retailers were forced to close because of lockdown measures, as well as concerns that banknotes could spread infection.
More than 15,500 people were polled for Mastercard’s research.
Despite concerns that cryptocurrencies may be too volatile for everyday payments, a number of big brands have started allowing consumers to use digital assets like Bitcoin and Ether. PayPal now allows shoppers in the U.S. to pay with crypto at millions of merchants, while eBay has confirmed that it is exploring how to follow suit.