Mastercard says touchless transactions spiked amid coronavirus worries

'Habits are being created today,' CEO says

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Limited contact is a popular social precaution amid the Covid-19 pandemic and it is reshaping how consumers are paying at the register.

Mastercard Inc. President Michael Miebach said contactless transactions increased 40% worldwide in the quarter that ended in March, and he expects those habits to last.

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"Our recent consumer insights indicate that habits are being created today," he said on Mastercard's earnings call. "They will last beyond the current situation."

Miebach said the company is "increasing contactless limits around the globe" and that banks are showing "renewed commitment to accelerate the issuance of new contactless cards."