Contactless Cards Gain Acceptance in New Zealand

New Zealanders are increasingly using contactless cards to pay for purchases under NZ$80 (US$66), choosing to ‘wave and go’ for everyday shopping items. A payments survey by business intelligence provider RFi has found in just six months, awareness of contactless cards in the country has grown to 86%.

Additionally, ownership is up to 36%, and usage across New Zealand has more than doubled to 18% from 7% in May 2013.

Younger New Zealanders are more likely to own and use a contactless card, with 45% of 25 to 34 year olds having a contactless card in their wallet and one in four using their card.

The average value of a consumer’s most recent purchase made on a contactless card was NZ$41.30 in November, compared to NZ$47.20 in May, a reflection of the increased volume of payments and the technology being more widely used for smaller everyday purchases.

Caroline Ada, Visa country manager, New Zealand and South Pacific, says the rise in contactless card usage is consistent with Visa’s figures. “We’re now seeing more than one million Visa payWave transactions a month and that’s a significant leap when you consider we were at a standing start in New Zealand this time last year,” Ada says.

“It’s interesting to see the average purchase value coming down, which is also a sign of more widespread usage.

“Contactless payments are becoming a regular and accepted way for Kiwis to pay, as people experience the speed and convenience of Visa payWave coupled with the technology becoming more common. We now have more than 1.5 million Visa payWave cards and more than 12,000 payment terminals around the country.”


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