MasterCard's MasterPass hits 38 percent growth in APAC in 2014

Purchases of smaller-ticket items are helping drive the growing trend of consumers choosing to pay with MasterCard's MasterPass at checkout.

MasterCard has revealed that its digital payments platform MasterPass has surged in transaction volumes across Asia-Pacific.

The company said the monthly compound average growth rate of MasterPass transactions in Asia Pacific for 2014 was 38 percent. MasterCard has predicted that the month-on-month growth will continue, given that the digital payment platform is available to more than 40 million consumers across the region.

At the same time, MasterCard said merchants are more accepting of this new form of payment. To date, MasterPass is offered by nearly 250,000 merchants worldwide.

Raj Dhamodharan, MasterCard Asia Pacific group head of emerging payments, said the trend is proof that shoppers and merchants want speed, ease, and security when transacting online, particularly for smaller-ticket items. MasterCard's e-commerce data in Asia Pacific for 2014 revealed that seven out of the top 10 most frequently purchased categories had a value of $60 or less, which included telecommunication bills, utilities, and purchases from online music stores.

Continuing the trend of convenient transactions, ANZ Bank will introduce contactless technology to its Eftpos terminals across Australia and New Zealand to accept UnionPay International cards.

In an aim to cater for the growing number of Chinese tourists, students, and business people who travel to Australia and New Zealand, and who are UnionPay International customers, UnionPay's QuickPass contactless capability will be implemented into approximately 90,000 ANZ Eftpos terminals. Myer, Harvey Norman, and DreamWorld will be among the first businesses in Australia to offer the functionality.

ANZ said it will launch the contactless technology in New Zealand by the end of 2015. The bank also plans to introduce UnionPay International magstripe and pin-and-chip compliant acceptance to its Eftpos terminals and ATMs across 11 markets in Asia Pacific from early 2016.

ANZ CEO Mike Smith said it was obvious that its payment terminals needed to be able to provide contactless payment options to UnionPay International customers.

"UnionPay International is the leading card network throughout China, with more than 50 percent of all cards in circulation. It is also the only card network that issues, clears, and settles in Yuan," he said.

"Every year, more and more Chinese tourists, students, and business people travel to Australia, with around 800,000 visiting in 2014. As a super regional bank operating in 34 markets, we recognised that we needed to expand our card payment options to support customers' cross-border activities."

Update 2.32 p.m AEST 17 June: Clarification that 38 percent is a month-to-month growth rate, and not an annual growth rate as initially reported.

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