Island leads region in contactless payments

  • Growing trend: Florence Smith, of Clarien Bank, believes more businesses and shoppers will use contactless payment options in the future (Photograph supplied)

    Growing trend: Florence Smith, of Clarien Bank, believes more businesses and shoppers will use contactless payment options in the future (Photograph supplied)

  • Card technology: Clarien Bank was the first in Bermuda to issue microchipped and contactless payment-enabled cards (Photograph supplied)

    Card technology: Clarien Bank was the first in Bermuda to issue microchipped and contactless payment-enabled cards (Photograph supplied)


Bermuda is leading the way as it shifts to contactless payments using debit and credit cards.

The island is ahead of others in the Caribbean and associated region when it comes to such transactions, according to data from MasterCard.

Florence Smith, product manager at Clarien Bank, said: “Bermuda, while not in the Caribbean, is included in the region for payment trending and reporting for contactless transactions by MasterCard and Visa.

“As of April, in Bermuda about 37 per cent of our transactions are contactless — a significant increase over our neighbours to the south of us — which speaks to the sophistication of the payments ecosystem in Bermuda.”

The increasing use of “tap and pay” and contactless payments, where a card is put near a device at a checkout and completes a payment transaction without the need for a PIN number or the card owner’s signature, is important, Ms Smith said.

She added: “Even more so during the global pandemic crisis.

“We are seeing a surge in contactless acceptance, it allows customers the option to tap and pay for products and services either at the point of sale or a wireless terminal kerbside.

“This allows them to avoid contact with surfaces that can be potentially contaminated. It is a quick and convenient way of making a payment and builds confidence, safety and trust between the consumer and the vendor.”

Ms Smith is involved with aspects of the contactless payment ecosystem at the bank.

She said Clarien was the first to market in Bermuda with EMV, the embedded microprocessor chip on cards, and also the first with contactless-enabled debit and credit cards.

She said: “We have a programme which supports our business community with contactless payment acceptance.

“And we have been working with our partners, MasterCard and Visa, as well as local vendors that support and manage the payment channels; they manage the actual hardware, the payment solution.

“Clarien brings all the solutions together depending on the needs of the business.”

She believes the upward trend for contactless payments will continue.

“The payment ecosystem is changing quite rapidly. We have contactless acceptance.

“As the market matures, we will see payments options evolve to digital wallets and other forms of frictionless alternatives,” she said.

“As has been seen in other jurisdictions, the impact of Covid-19 is driving a surge in e-commerce capabilities for all business sectors, especially for restaurants, grocery stores and retailers needing to support kerbside pick-up and deliveries. Things have changed quickly for consumers and merchants.”

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Published May 26, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated May 25, 2020 at 9:42 pm)

Island leads region in contactless payments

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