Contactless Payments: Commonwealth Bank of Australia Reports Significant Increase in Digital Wallet Transactions Following COVID-19 Outbreak

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), a global bank with businesses across New Zealand, Asia, the UK, and the US, recently noted that there’s been a significant increase in mobile-based digital payments at point-of-sale (PoS) terminals. This, as Australian residents may be trying to avoid physically touching PIN pads, following the deadly Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The CBA’s latest analysis uses data provided by Mastercard and Visa. The data reveals that digital or online wallet users in the country performed a record number of transactions valued at around $1 billion during March 2020. This is notably a 17% increase from March 2019.

The bank said that there were a total of around 36 million online wallet transactions conducted last month. They reportedly included transfers facilitated by CBA Tap & Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, and Garmin Pay devices.

This figure is up significantly from 33 million digital wallet transactions carried out in February 2020. It’s also greater than the 34 million transactions settled in December of last year.

Kate Crous, executive general manager of everyday banking at CBA, stated:

“The growth in the number of contactless purchases has been increasing since the introduction of Apple Pay last year, however it’s now evident that even more people regard it as a safe and secure way to pay in this environment.”

The latest data analysis performed by the CBA has been released shortly after a ruling by AusPayNet to increase contactless payments card limits from the previous AUD 100 to AUD 200, in order to avoid making physical contact with the PoS terminals as much as possible.

Crous remarked:

“In the current environment, paying without cash is an important way to protect yourself and others against the spread of coronavirus. The increased contactless card limit is a fantastic step, however where possible we’re encouraging our customers to use digital wallets as they have the added safety of not needing to enter a PIN on the PIN Pad no matter how much they spend, as it instead leverages touch ID or Face ID.”

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