MasterCard Concludes Its Own Service Is Wonderful

Vendor-initiated surveys have a remarkable history of establishing that the vendor's service or product is every bit as wonderful as the vendor's always said. Given the tremendous discretion involved in phrasing the questions, choosing who is being asked and how the answers are analyzed, self-serving vendor research shouldn't change a lot of minds.

That said, MasterCard PayPass on Tuesday released "internal MasterCard data"--some of it dating back to last September--that showed the average ticket being about $20 and that consumers used credit cards about 18 percent more once they became contactless. "Though PayPass technology can also be used for transactions exceeding $25 (at which point a signature or PIN is required for verification), roughly 75 percent of all PayPass transactions were for purchases below $25 and approximately 45 percent of all PayPass transactions were for purchases below $10."

To the extent that the point is that consumers are carrying less cash than a year ago, they clearly are. But a lot of that involves cultural changes, making it not clear how much of that 18 percent increase would have happened anyway.