Mastercard: The cashless economy is taking hold in Australia
Using a representative sample of 806 domestic businesses and conducting a survey regarding their experiences during the pandemic so far, Mastercard reports that 52% have shifted and accelerated their focus on ecommerce structures. 68% claimed to have done so within a week of researching the option and 20% switched in just 24 hours.
The company infers that COVID-19 is ultimately responsible for this change: online shopping methods facilitate the requirement for social distancing and cashless transactions reduce surface contact with the virus. Mobile wallets have subsequently also gained popularity (23% rise).
The future of business?
Far from being a temporary solution, Mastercard intimates that the shift to digital payments could have long-term benefits for small businesses (SMEs) that are struggling during the pandemic. Consumer preferences are changing, and business needs to accommodate them:
“As consumers continue to shift toward digital payments, businesses everywhere are evolving their operations to appeal to their customers’ new preferences. It’s more important than ever that SMEs around Australia better understand and expand their digital capabilities,” said Sumit Khurana, Senior Principal, Data and Services, Australia, Mastercard.
“In adding the Small Business Digital Readiness Diagnostic to the support program, Mastercard is looking to enable local organisations to seize the online opportunity and future-proof their business.”
‘Cashless’ takes hold
Concluding that the shift to digital payments is a pragmatic decision caused by bank branch closures, David Fagleman, Director at , nevertheless told the BBC that an accelerated shift towards a cashless society could have deleterious consequences:
"Our own research shows that despite a decline in use for day-to-day purchases, nearly three-quarters of people think the move to a cashless society is happening too fast and risks leaving some people, particularly the vulnerable, behind."
In an interview with , Ajay Bhalla, President of Cyber & Intelligence at Mastercard, agreed that addressing financial inclusion remained a core challenge, though not an insurmountable one. Indeed, Bhalla believed that digital payments themselves could actually enable a better financial future for everyone:
“Financial inclusion remains one of the world’s great challenges, and contactless payments could play a vital role in progressing a global solution. Mastercard is committed to bringing one billion people into the digital economy by 2025, creating pathways toward increased financial security for people, communities and businesses around the world.”
Tink partners with Novalnet AG for open banking payments
The Munich-based fintech Novalnet AG, which was founded in 2007 and is one of Europe’s leadingfintech companies, has announced a new partnership with Tink, the Swedish open banking platform currently connected to more than 3,400 European banks.
Novalnet AG delivers payment solutions and fully automated services, from checkout to debt collection. Its solutions are also available worldwide.
According to reports, the fintech company plans to launch a real-time payments feature for merchants across Europe, to expand its current services and enhance the transaction experience it operates through its platform.
The new feature, says Novalnet, will revolutionise payments for ecommerce with transactions being credited to merchant’s accounts almost instantly.
Novalnet partnership with Tink
By partnering with Tink for payment initiation services (PIS) technology, Novalnet will take previous region-specific payment methods and offer a new unified digital payments service to its merchants across Europe.
The fintech’s real-time merchant payments feature, which will be launched initially in Germany and the United Kingdom, will then be integrated across other European markets during 2021.
Speaking about the new collaboration, Emmanuel Kirse, COO of Novalnet, explained, "We expect great things from our strategic partnership with Tink, which is a significant development for both parties.
“With Tink, Novalnet can offer a new set of open banking-related solutions in Europe. The new opportunities offered by this partnership will help both Tink and Novalnet grow together, along with our merchants."
Cyrosch Kalateh, Regional Director for the DACH region at Tink said, “Our partnership with Novalnet is a big step for Tink in the German market, and we are excited to work together to bring new, innovative payments services to merchants across Europe.”
He added, “At the end of 2020 Tink committed to expanding its payment initiation services from five to 10 markets, fuelled by an €85mn investment round. We are proud to add Germany to this list by announcing we have now fully launched Tink’s PIS services in this market.”
Image credit: Novalnet AG