According to an online survey of 18 global markets, namely “Consumer Appetite for Digital Payments Takes Off,” conducted by Mastercard, 93% of the participating consumers would opt for a new payment method in the upcoming year, such as cryptocurrencies, contactless, QR code, or biometrics. One of the reasons for this high percentage is the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the world to go into lockdown and necessitated minimal contact.
From the 15,569 participating consumers, some notable statistics include:
- 40% said that they would consider using cryptocurrencies in the next year. They belonged to Africa, North America, Latin America, Middle East, and the Caribbean.
- 67% of Millennials stated that they were more willing to use cryptocurrencies as compared to the previous year.
- 77% of Millennials were willing to gain knowledge on the subject.
- 75% of Millennials said they would prefer using cryptocurrency if they had an in-depth understanding of it.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Millennials constitute the global population with births between 1982 and 2000. This indicates that cryptocurrency and its usage hold a significant interest in the global age group of 21 to 39 years.
Pandemic Is a Catalyst
Mastercard’s Chief Product Officer, Craig Vosburg, noted that the epidemic forced us to think in new ways, partially out of necessity. To provide the choice and flexibility that customers need–and increasingly expect–merchants throughout the world must provide various payment options that are simple to use and constantly available. He further noted that in order to mold the fabric of trade and make the digital world work for everybody, we must strive to empower all options, both in-store and web-based.
During the initial months of the coronavirus pandemic onslaught and the uncertainty that it brought, businesses had accelerated their network infrastructure, which included digital and remote financial services. The pandemic acted as a catalyst to the already changing cryptocurrency landscape and its global acceptance. Banks were rushing to implement crypto-based services such as digital wallet withdrawals, deposits, and money transfers. In this context, over half of the respondents stated that they would not approach a business that did not offer electronic payment options.
This behavior shift’s demand for consumer choice is supported, with 84% stating they expect the freedom to make transactions based on their choices. To satisfy the growing enthusiasm for the future state of pay, a broader selection of payment solutions, insights, and goods is required to fulfill the need for developing payments and choices.
Mastercard stated in early 2021 that it would allow digital currency transactions for its nearly one billion consumers to spend at more than 30 million businesses, paving the way for wider use of cryptocurrencies. Although people’s awareness of “floating cryptocurrencies” like Bitcoin has been rising, Mastercard says more effort is needed to assure customer choice, security, and compliance with regulations.
Regulations and policies on using any cryptoasset and different exchanges have witnessed several ups and downs in the previous years. While it is growing increasingly widespread, it is still not generally acknowledged or controlled in many countries. Given the potential for cryptocurrencies to transform the financial sector and beyond, nations must move quickly to build solid regulatory frameworks.