Amid a surging interest in cryptocurrencies as a payment method observed across the world, 40% of surveyed individuals said using crypto is in their plans for the next year, according to a recent survey commissioned by payments giant Mastercard.
The survey of some 15,569 people, conducted online in late February – early March in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and Africa, and Asia Pacific, found that 4 out of 10 respondents said they plan to use cryptocurrency in the next year.
“The Mastercard New Payments Index, conducted across 18 markets around the world, shows 93% of people will consider using at least one emerging payment method, such as cryptocurrency, biometrics, contactless, or QR code, in the next year,” the company said in a statement.
Millennials globally, as well as those in the Middle East and Africa are “especially engaged in the cryptocurrency conversation,” with more than half – or 67% – agreeing that they were more open to using cryptocurrency than they were a year ago, the statement said.
Some 77% of the surveyed millennials said they are interested in learning more about cryptocurrency, and 75% agreed they would use cryptocurrency if they understood it better, which many indicate a significant growth potential in this category.
The intensifying shift towards cashless payment methods, combined with the impact the pandemic has made on worldwide attitudes toward cash, as well as people’s increasing comfort with and understanding of emerging payments technologies, led 71% of the respondents to declare they expected to use cash less moving forward.
“While consumer interest in cryptocurrency – especially floating digital currencies such as bitcoin – is high, work is still required to ensure consumer choice, protection, and their regulatory compliance,” according to Mastercard New Payments Index.
63% of the respondents said they have tried a new payment method during the pandemic which they would not have tried under normal circumstances. As away to address the consumer preference for fast, touch-free payment experiences, many merchants are turning to contactless payments, said the report. The behavior shift is reinforced by the desire for consumer choice, they added, with consumers expecting “to make purchases when they want and how they want.”
Between the first quarter of 2020 and the same period in 2021, more than 100 markets saw contactless as a share of total in-person transactions grow by at least 50%, while a year into the pandemic “contactless is showing its staying power and dynamism”, with Mastercard seeing 1bn more contactless transactions in Q1 2021 alone as compared to the same period of 2020.
Most of the survey respondents are based in Australia, India, Thailand, US, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. Smaller groups were also interviewed in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and the Dominican Republic, according to the statement.