As the COVID-19 pandemic slowed the world to a halt and lockdown procedures were put in place, 2020 saw heightened online shopping and a surge in digital payments. As retailers around the world moved their businesses online and shut down their storefronts, we saw a boom in e-commerce. Now, over a year later, a study from Mastercard reveals that the retail industry is experiencing a growing consumer appetite for new payment technologies – with speed and flexibility being two must-haves.
According to the Mastercard New Payments Index, 93% of respondents will consider using at least one cutting-edge payment method in the next year. This includes:
- Contactless payments.
- QR codes.
We’d like to examine cryptocurrency in particular. Cryptocurrencies aren’t a new concept anymore. Their popularity grows rapidly. The research from Mastercard found that Millennials are eager to jump into the cryptocurrency market. More than half of respondents (67% in total) stated that they are more open to using cryptocurrency as a payment method than they were just 1 year ago. Furthermore, 77% of Millennials would like to learn more about cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin is no longer an abstract concept: approximately 46 million Americans own Bitcoin, and this number will only continue to rise. Looking to the future, cash payments and “contact” payments will diminish; 71% of Mastercard’s survey respondents stated that they will use less cash from now on.
Other Key Statistics
79% of respondents prefer to shop at stores that have a web presence in addition to a physical storefront.
75% of Millennials stated they would use cryptocurrency if they had a better understanding of it.
Between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021, 1/5 of studied merchants increased the number of supported e-commerce channels or introduced contactless payments.
Card-not-present transactions grew by more than 30% between Q1 2020 and Q1 2021.
Benefits of Cryptocurrency Payments
So, what exactly makes cryptocurrency such a great payment currency? To answer this, we must look at the blockchain technology on which cryptocurrency transactions run. Blockchain offers transactions that are:
All of these factors are heavily valued by consumers – and especially by Millennials. And as more and more businesses begin to support cryptocurrency as a payment method, it will undoubtedly become more popular with the general public. Already, such huge names as Microsoft and Overstock are accepting cryptocurrency payments. A global payment giant Visa has been cooperating with digital financial services providers to deliver easier access to cryptoassets for underbanked consumers.
And the COVID-19 pandemic is largely responsible for this; the need for contactless technology became the digital catalyst for exploring new payment options. With this exploding consumer interest in new payment technologies, companies are incentivized to hop on board and expand checkout options.
People are heavily interested in cryptocurrency, both as a payment option and as an investment opportunity. And we’re seeing it integrated into our lives, from secure crypto-enabled messengers like Grapherex to buying coffee through Starbucks application with Bitcoin. Cryptocurrency isn’t a trend – it’s here to stay.