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Mastercard survey shows global surge in digital payments

Mastercard Inc. released a study showing consumers worldwide are using contactless and other digital payments at record levels and moving away from cash due to concerns about COVID-19. 

The Mastercard research shows that nearly seven in 10 consumers globally expect to shift towards digital payment use on a permanent basis, while nearly half of consumers plan to reduce their use of cash, even after the pandemic threat subsides. 

The report shows that 64% of consumers in Europe say that tap-and-go is their preferred payment method, while two-thirds of consumers in Latin America say they will use cash less often and 46% of consumers in the Asia Pacific region have reduced their cash use. 

"While no one could have predicted the state of the world we're in today, it has reinforced the necessity for us to continue evolving the consumer payment experience to meet the consumer wherever we are," Jorn Lambert, executive vice president, digital solutions at Mastercard, said in a press release. "We've been focused on building our digital-first capabilities for years, which have enabled this accelerated shift to digital payments — it's unlikely consumers will revert to old payment habits."

Mastercard SpendingPulse data, contained in a newly released report called Recovery Insights: Shift to Digital, shows that e-commerce spending in the U.S. rose 93% in May, compared with a year ago. In the U.K., e-commerce represented an unprecedented 33% of total retail sales during April and May, according to the report. 

Mastercard surveyed a total of 6,750 adults across 15 countries from April 27 to May 17. The countries included Australia, Brazil, China, Columbia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Spain, Japan, Mexico, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. and the U.K.