A growing number of South Africans are using contactless payment methods for their purchases, according to FNB.
The bank reported a massive increase in “tap-and-go” and contactless card transactions by its customers during the 2018/2019 financial year.
FNB customers with contactless-enabled cards have made about 66 million contactless payments over the last year, totalling a value of more than R14 billion.
This is a near three-fold increase compared to the number of contactless transactions in the previous period, which stood at 25.7 million payments with a total value of R4.5 billion.
Of these 66 million transactions, more than 46 million were processed on debit cards, an increase of 153% compared to the previous year.
Tap transactions with credit cards have shown even more growth, with a 167% increase from 7.5 million to 20 million payments.
FNB has said that the number of contactless payments continues to increase every month.
The growth may point to improved public trust in the newer payment technology, as well as more point-of-sale systems and cards that support the functionality.
Contactless payments are generally faster than swiping or inserting a card and do not require the use of a PIN for purchases under a set amount.
Improved security and convenience
Chief Executive for FNB Retail, Raj Makanjee, said that the inclusion of NFC (near-field communication) in its cards has benefited customers in various ways.
“All our customers have contactless-enabled cards, and this contributes significantly to our efforts to empower customers with convenient and safer ways to pay.”
“Our goal is to minimise reliance on cash by ensuring that customers have access to payment options that accommodate their day to day needs,” Makanjee said.
Contactless payment also reduces the risk of card skimming, as it does not require the user to insert or swipe any part of the card into a device.
“Contactless cards allow users to tap against a contactless reader to pay for goods and services without the card leaving their hand, resulting in added convenience and security,” said Makanjee.
The bank also introduced contactless ATMs last year, which allows FNB customers to draw cash by simply tapping their card on a scanner.
FNB added that its Scan to Pay feature has also seen double-digit growth every month since its launch earlier this year. This feature lets customers make payments by scanning a QR code.
Alternative digital payment methods supported by FNB include Samsung Pay, FitBit Pay, and Garmin Pay.