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South African consumers now prefer contactless card payments: FNB

South African consumers now prefer contactless card payments: FNB
25-01-23 / Shelly Nxumalo

South African consumers now prefer contactless card payments: FNB

Johannesburg - Awareness, safety and convenience are some of the key contributors to the accelerating adoption of contactless payments. This is according to FNB, which has revealed that contactless payments now account for more than 50% of all card payments made by its customers, while their preference for chip and PIN payments where the customer inserts their card into the point-of-sale device continues to decline. 

The banking group said on Credit Cards and Fusion accounts, card swipes account for less than 1% while contactless is more than 60% of all transactions, and further stated that the use of contactless payments has increased significantly in the years following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ashley Saffy, Head of Spend and Customer Value Management at FNB Card, says, "Consumers have shown a strong preference for contactless payments using their contactless-enabled cards or smart devices. One of the key reasons is that contactless payments are more convenient and faster than swiping or inserting your card.

"They also provide a higher level of security, as they use near-field communication (NFC) technology, which is less vulnerable to fraud than traditional ’contact’ driven payment methods. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the shift towards contactless payments, as they do not require physical contact between the customer and the point of sale."

The sentiment is echoed by Jason Viljoen, FNB's Head of Card Digitisation, who says, "Our customers are increasingly choosing safer and more convenient payment methods, such as using their virtual cards linked to their digital card wallets, for both online shopping and in-store purchases.  To support this migration, we continue to expand the choice of FNB-enabled digital card wallets on offer.

"In addition to our own FNB Tap & Scan to Pay, customers can also use several digital card wallets supported by FNB Pay, these include Apple Pay, Google Wallet, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay and Swatch Pay. Customers adopting these solutions realise further value through our world class rewards program benefits and peace of mind with purchase protect.”

According to FNB, over and above safety and convenience, contactless payment options also have additional benefits for users. This includes faster transactions, as customers may not be required to enter a PIN for certain transactions. Both merchants and customers can also minimise queuing time during in-store shopping by processing payments in seconds compared to the traditional methods of inserting or swiping their card.

Cash displacement is an additional benefit, as the use of cash can be expensive for both the consumer and merchant, while also posing safety and hygiene concerns, the bank said.

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