BARCELONA, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Availability and reliability are still the two major demands for consumers when making a payment through a digital or electronic system, James Anderson, executive vice-president of digital payment products at Mastercard, has said.
In a recent interview with Xinhua, Anderson said he didn't expect the arrival of 5G ultra-wide broadband to alter the current dynamic, explaining that although speed is important, availability and reliability are more important.
"When consumers are paying, that has to work 100 percent of the time," he said, adding that "people have zero tolerance levels for delays."
"If only 20 percent of consumers have it (5G). It is not that important for payments. I think that for payments, it is more important to have 100 percent coverage with 3G reliability than 20 percent coverage with 5G availability," he commented.
The use of cash as a method of payment is declining, highlighted by the fact that 2016 saw Spaniards make more card than cash payments, according to data from the Bank of Spain published in the El Pais newspaper.
The trend could well lead the way for an increased use of electronic payment methods or even payment using mobile phones.
Anderson explained that Mastercard are currently developing a payment system using QR (a kind of matrix barcode) for emerging markets.
"We decided that QR is easier and more convenient, so we will be supporting that," he said.
"Many sections of the population don't use cash for anything now... I think there will be sectors where cash becomes more or less irrelevant," said Anderson. but he doesn't believe cash will disappear as "it forms an important part of the fabric of society."