Visa study finds smartphones could serve as low cost, secure payment terminals for New Zealand small businesses


Nearly 40 per cent of New Zealand consumers are willing to use ‘tap to phone’ payments, meaning businesses could accept contactless payments on their smartphone, reducing the need for traditional point-of-sale infrastructure.

As consumers and businesses increasingly turn to digital payments during the COVID-19 pandemic, Visa has launched new consumer payments research that shows how ‘tap to phone’ payment solutions could bring more micro and small businesses into the digital economy.

Tap to phone enables sellers to accept contactless payments directly on their own Android NFC-enabled smartphone, without the need for a separate payment acceptance terminal. Instead of tapping a contactless card, phone or wearable on a terminal, a consumer taps on the seller’s smartphone to pay.

New research from Visa reveals that 39 per cent of New Zealand consumers would likely use tap to phone payments, despite solutions not yet being widely available. The research suggests that as tap to phone solutions are introduced in New Zealand, consumers would embrace this new form of payments, with face-to-face transactions in New Zealand becoming increasingly contactless.

“New Zealanders have been fast adopters of contactless payments, and the use of smartphones more generally is a common daily occurrence, so we expect combining the two with tap to phone payments will be a convenient and secure choice for Kiwis,” said Marty Kerr, Visa Country Manager for New Zealand and South Pacific.

”As sellers adapt to the rapidly changing retail environment, tap to phone opens up another door for small and micro businesses to accept digital payments in a convenient and cost effective way, enabling them to reach more customers and grow their sales.”

Tap to phone opens up lower cost options for small business

FinTechNZ CEO James Brown says new technologies are a major source of innovative commerce options for small business.

“Increasingly, businesses and consumers alike want options and choice in their everyday commerce tools – so being able to accept a payment without the need for a physical terminal will be appealing to some businesses,” says Mr Brown.

“FinTechNZ frequently witnesses the power of financial technology in opening up new experiences and alternative ways of doing things – so it’s exciting to see new technologies on the horizon in the point-of-sale space.”

Simplicity and security appeal to New Zealand consumers

Tap to phone payments simplify point-of-sale infrastructure for businesses and bring benefits to consumers. Ease of use was rated as the most popular reason to consider using tap to phone by 51 per cent of those surveyed.

While 47 per cent of New Zealanders rated security as a factor that would encourage their adoption of tap to phone payments, the survey also revealed a need for industry to educate consumers about security features. Protecting financial information (55 per cent) and personal information (50 per cent) were named as the top concerns of using tap to phone.

Convenience stores, restaurants and small businesses popular scenarios

Visa’s research also looked at the scenarios where consumers would be most likely to pay via tap to phone. Convenience stores were the most popular choice (47 per cent), followed by restaurant payments (45 per cent), as well as small local businesses (42 per cent) and food courts, markets or food kiosks (40 per cent).

“Our research highlights speed and convenience as key priorities, and we see tap to phone as a new option for sellers, of all sizes, to meet this demand, particularly in fast growing areas like payment on delivery for food orders,” said Mr Kerr.

Visa and its partners have launched tap-to-phone solutions in Malaysia and India, with more Asia Pacific markets to follow in the coming months.

Methodology: Visa Tap to Phone Study
The Visa Tap to Phone study was conducted by YouGov research between 16 to 20 July 2020, among 503 adults aged 18+ in New Zealand.

Note to editors
Tap to phone solutions bring multiple layers of security on both the buyer and seller side, ensuring that Visa’s high standards for secure payments are met. Each solution undergoes an intensive certification process including a security assessment by an accredited expert security lab. These solutions are also supported by an industry standard that has been developed and published by the PCI Security Standards Council.


About Visa Inc.

Visa Inc. 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 digital commerce on any device, for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit About Visa, and @VisaNews.