New report finds consumer interest soars for payment options linked with cryptocurrency

New report finds consumer interest soars for payment options linked with cryptocurrency

Consumers around the world are increasingly embracing new forms of payment, with the Visa Card seeing double-digit growth in per-user spending for 2021 when compared to 2020 usage.

The recently released Visa Card Consumer Spending Insights Report 2021 found that consumers globally are increasingly utilising crypto-linked payment options for everyday spending.

Karl Mohan, General Manager, Asia Pacific at said that there is a growing demand for cryptocurrency holders looking for ways to easily access their crypto assets and utilise them as spendable currency.

Key report insights
The report found that fashion (clothing and footwear) spending grew the most with 50% growth, followed by transport and recreation spending increasing by 46%. Grocery remained the main spending category, even though its share dropped from 62% in 2020 to 51% in 2021.

Benefitting from the remission of the pandemic in 2021 and the opening-up policies in many countries, consumer spending on hotels and dining also surged by 40%.

“This reflected increased consumer confidence post-COVID-19 as these industries started to come out of lockdown,” said Henry Hon, Head of Research at

In line with the same trend, online spending declined by 9%, while in-store purchases climbed by 11%. Out-of-home consumption spending, entertainment, such as ticketing for concerts, arts, exhibitions and sporting events, surged the most (133% YoY), followed by travel (32% YoY) and dining (17% YoY).

Although online shopping showed a decrease in 2021, it still dominated the market with an average share of 53% spending, with Amazon, eBay and AliExpress dominating at 37%, 19% and 16% market share, respectively.

For online travel booking platforms, top players shuffled. outpaced Airbnb as the most popular online travel platform in 2021.

“We’ve seen interesting trends emerging in the transportation and accommodation space, especially with the evolving pandemic situation in different parts of the world. In 2020, with COVID-19 affecting travel spending, Airbnb saw extraordinary growth in market share due to the increasing popularity of staycations. However, with the reopening of markets, particularly in Europe, claimed the number one spot in 2021,” added Mr Hon.

Australia: Key market for Visa cards
In November 2021, commenced the direct issuance of Visa Cards in Australia, accelerating the growth of cryptocurrency and becoming one of the fastest growing prepaid cards in Australia.

The card enables users to spend their crypto in any of the more than 50 million Visa-enabled merchants online or offline worldwide.

According to Mr. Mohan, Australia is a key market for largely due to its fintech-friendly environment, strong regulatory reputation, and highly skilled workforce.

“ Visa Cards have now transacted in more than 100 countries and regions around the world. The card provides a seamless bridge between the traditional financial world and the newly emerging crypto system, making it a more secure and accessible way for users to tap into the future of finance.” Mr Mohan said.

In Australia, Woolworths and Aldi were the top supermarkets where the card was used.

“Prior to the introduction of the Visa Card, holders of crypto assets faced lead times of several days when trying to access their funds for use in Australia. The partnership has helped solve this issue by allowing users to top up their card from over 170 different crypto coins, as well as permitted fiat currencies through partnerships with licensed entities.”

“As the cryptocurrency sector continues to become mainstream – with ~23% of Australians holding crypto today1 – creating avenues for people to spend their crypto in the real world are becoming increasingly important,” he concluded