New Zealand – 7 November 2017 – As the busiest time of year for retail approaches, retailers are encouraged to switch on to contactless technology to meet the significant demand from shoppers using Tap and Go around the Christmas period.

The number of contactless transactions has been steadily increasing in 2017 as more consumers and retailers adopt the technology, with past trends predicting a spike in December, according to Mastercard contactless transaction data.

“Last December we saw a rise in the number of contactless transactions compared to the rest of the year. While contactless payments have benefits all year round, when it comes to Christmas shopping, people may be in a rush, shopping on their lunch break, or just want to get through queues and buy gifts fast. Contactless payments help make this possible, making Christmas shopping faster,” says Peter Chisnall, Country Manager for Mastercard New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

Almost three quarters of New Zealand consumers are using contactless technology, according to locally commissioned research of over 1,000 New Zealanders.

38% of those surveyed think retailers need to do more to embrace new payment innovations, and a third of respondents said they get frustrated when retailers do not have contactless technology enabled.

“Around Christmas time the quicker and smoother the transaction process is the better – for both consumers and retailers. Contactless payments are convenient, fast and widely used, which means faster queues and less holiday shopping stress for customers and retailers,” says Chisnall.

Contactless transaction use has been growing steadily since the technology was introduced in 2014, and December has consistently been the largest spending month.

The biggest increases in contactless spending last December were for glassware (up 206% from November to December), household appliances (up 98% from November to December) and house furnishings (up 95% from November to December).

“We saw the number of contactless transactions for house appliances and furnishings almost double last December, and glassware triple, with people splashing out on things they may not otherwise purchase during the year – whether that is for gifts or for themselves.  Department store spending is also up 63% in December, with people using these stores to shop for a range of items,” says Chisnall.

“We also see spikes in things like electronics – up 86% from November and December – and women’s clothing – up 56%.”

In New Zealand, wholesalers (54%), hospitality (52%) and retailers (48%) are the top industries for accepting contactless payments.

Contactless payments can be used for any purchase with customers able to Tap and Go if the purchase is under $80, or Tap and PIN if over $80.

For more information about contactless technology and why retailers should switch on, visit Switchonnz.co.nz.

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About the research
This monthly Perceptive Omnibus surveyed 1007 New Zealanders online in December 2016 using a nationwide sampling framework. The results are then weighted to Statistics New Zealand census gender, age and location data.

The survey and its accompanying reports do not represent Mastercard’s financial performance.

About Mastercard
Mastercard (NYSE: MA), www.Mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry.  We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories.  Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone.  Follow us on Twitter @MastercardAP and @MastercardNZ, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Mastercard Communications Contact
Emma Hilton
Acumen Republic, for Mastercard
+64 9 354 0583
+64 21 0249 5013