Contactless payments technology a consistent factor in merchant business growth


Independent study reveals Kiwi merchant successes linked to accepting Visa payWave


The increasing use of contactless payments by consumers is providing demonstrable benefits to merchants, according to an independent study that quantifies the business benefit of contactless for New Zealand retailers and hospitality operators for the first time.

The Merchant Contactless Study (“the Study”), undertaken by Paymark and independent insights agency TRA, shows through analysis of Paymark data that in the past three years merchants that have enabled contactless have enjoyed more than double the sales growth (10.1%) than those that haven’t (4.6%)1. In addition, contactless merchants have seen more than double the growth in the number of transactions (10.2%), than non-contactless merchants (4.1%).

Visa’s Country Manager, New Zealand and South Pacific, Marty Kerr says this research provides clear evidence that the seamless experience provided by contactless payments benefits New Zealand merchants by increasing sales, at the point of sale.

Businesses that enable contactless also benefit from the value it provides in helping build customer loyalty. The Study shows that for contactless merchants, growth in customer numbers (8.3%) was double that experienced by non-contactless merchants (3.5%). Contactless merchants also enjoyed triple the growth (1.7%) in the percentage of returning customers than non-contactless merchants (0.5%)2.

These findings resonate with business owner Deanna Yang of Moustache Milk & Cookie Bar. “If we didn’t offer contactless or mobile payment solutions, I predict we would probably lose at least 60% of our sales. It’s how our customers prefer to pay,” she says.

Kerr says that every day merchants, such as Yang, are future-proofing their businesses by choosing to accept contactless payments technology to satisfy customer demand for Visa payWave – whether via a card, mobile or wearable. “This is not a future technology, the uptake in adoption by Kiwi consumers shows they are wanting it and using it now,” he says.

New Zealand consumers are some of the highest users in the world of contactless and Visa’s data shows that Visa payWave transactions have grown to 25 million transactions per month, compared to 16.8 million transactions at the same time last year3.

“New payment technologies, including mobile wallets, now being offered by New Zealand banks, will further boost the appetite among consumers to pay using their mobile or wearable devices. Merchants who enable contactless have told us they believe that innovative payments technology gives them a competitive edge because they can provide a better customer experience,” Kerr says.

The Study also examined three key merchant categories in depth and found that the results provided further evidence that enabling contactless payments provides tangible benefits, particularly in hospitality, grocery and general retail. For example, in hospitality contactless merchants’ sales growth (12.2%) was more than double that of non-contactless merchants (5.6%), while in general retail contactless merchants’ sales growth (9.0%) was more than triple that of non-contactless merchants (2.4%).

“When merchants understand the convenience and choice that contactless payments bring to their customers and their business, they realise the benefit of building loyalty and gaining access to a greater consumer base. Accepting Visa payWave can help merchants enable a better customer experience, improve their competitive advantage, and increase operational efficiency,” adds Kerr.


1 Merchant Contactless Study, May 2018
2 Merchant Contactless Study, May 2018
3 VisaNet January 2018 and January 2017


About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of connected commerce on any device, and a driving force behind the dream of increased digital payments for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analogue to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit, and @VisaNews.

About the Merchant Contactless Study

The Study has been conducted by TRA using transaction data from New Zealand businesses through Paymark’s network over the period January 2015 to March 2018. The Study analysed 4638 contactless merchants and 29,903 non-contactless merchants which made up the control groups from transaction history for merchants in the hospitality, grocery, hardware, general retail space, and other industries. TRA carried out the matching of contactless merchants to non-contactless merchants using a technique called k-nearest neighbour matching for causal inference. This means matching contactless merchants to non-contactless merchants in such a way that it enables causal statements to be made about the nature of contactless payments.