Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, 19% of Colombians started using contactless payments, according to a study by Mastercard. This was reported from Colombia Fintech, last May 2.
The published article, signed by Laura Neira Marciales, indicated that the digital transformation has been promoted during the quarantine not only in companies, but also in people’s daily lives. Thus, citizens have sought new ways to buy and pay trying to avoid physical contact and the possible spread of covid-19.
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Federico Martinez, CEO of Mastercard, explained that this study, which took as a reference the behavior between February and March, also revealed that „people are increasingly using this technology. In Latin America, we see that 71% of people say they are using contactless payment for covid-19 and in Colombia the figure rose to 78%“.
On the other hand, he clarified: „There is still a lot of misinformation about contactless payment, since 12% of Colombians do not know if their debit or credit card has this function and 41% have a plastic that does not allow them to make these payments and would like to have the function“.
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In this scenario, Erick Rincon, president of Colombia Fintech, said: „This is the time for the development not only of contactless payments, but also of virtual wallets and electronic purses, because there is a greater need to immaterialize the flow of money and to irrigate resources.
For Rincón, these products improve the sanitary conditions on the use of money, because there is no need for the development of money or paper, but an operation by electronic means. In addition, they would reduce the costs associated with these operations, because of the need to place the money.
Hygiene has also been key in increasing the use of contactless payments. In this regard, Martínez said that 69% of Colombians are now more aware of the dirt in cash and 93% say this is the cleanest form (contactless) of payment. Added to this is people’s trust, as 79% believe it gives them more confidence when making their transactions.
Decrease in cash
As a consequence of the above, the use of cash in Latin America and specifically in Colombia has been reduced. The results of the study reveal that in Latin America 66% no longer use it or do so to a lesser extent, and in Colombia the figure reaches 62%.
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Destination of payments. The Mastercard study showed that people use the Bitcoin Champion App, Immediate Edge App, Bitcoin Future App, Bitcoin Rush App, Bitcoin Compass App contactless payment method to pay in supermarkets (88%) and in pharmacies (47%), followed by restaurants (28%) and in means of transport (15%).
However, there is still a big challenge, and that is the existence of unbanked people and resistance to new payment models.
Marcelo Fondacaro, COO of VeriTran in Argentina, said: „A study developed by Minsait highlighted that 25.7% of Colombians do not use any electronic payment method to cover their monthly expenses. He added that „strategies must be implemented to encourage the use of mobile applications to carry out all financial operations without leaving home, currently it is a matter of survival“.
Considering this, Martinez said there is a challenge with older adults: „Although an effort is made to give them assistance through digital mechanisms or bank accounts, when they receive it they go to the ATM to get it all out. But he warned that this could be improved by financial education.