News Release: Technology has taken a front seat in our world due to the unexpected arrival of COVID-19. In this new world, Bermuda is leading the way as one of the world’s first countries that has eliminated the use of paper notes, choosing to go totally contactless. In 2018, Bermuda began the process of adding the “tap-and-go” technology, to enhance card security and give customers a quicker checkout process.  Card usage is high in general in the Caribbean region, especially in Barbados and Puerto Rico; while mobile payments were already gaining traction in 2020 and now have increased widely in markets such as the Bahamas, according to data provided by Finextra.

As a result of the challenges presented by COVID-19, consumers are adopting new payment habits at an accelerated pace, according to the Mastercard New Payment Index conducted in 18 countries, including several markets in Latin America and the Caribbean region. The study shows nearly 90 percent of in-person transactions globally take place at a contactless-enabled merchant, and nearly all merchant categories saw an increase in contactless transactions as a share of total in-person transactions year-over-year in the first quarter of 2021.

Using contactless payment methods while at sports events, such as golf, is especially convenient, as it reduces the inconvenience of carrying cash, including having to purchase local currency (if applicable), carrying large amounts of cash, or running out of cash in a restaurant, golf facility or other.  Places such as Bermuda that have adopted this method early – the first country to formally adopt a non-paper money economy will be Sweden in 2023—are positioned to attract technology-oriented, savvy, and affluent tourists to enjoy their sports events.