Contactless Use Proliferates Across Europe

by Tristan Hugo-Webb 0

In the latest round of statistics to be released by Visa Europe, consumer contactless use has seen a continued surge with more than a billion tap-and-go purchases worth €12.6 ($14) billion on Visa cards alone in the last 12 months. According to Visa Europe the strong growth in contactless use is due to increasing awareness and availability to use the payment technology as well as major initiatives like the decision to open London’s transport system to all contactless enabled debit and credit cards.

The UK remains the leading contactless market in Europe with nearly 50 million contactless enabled cards and over 400,000 point-of-sale (POS) terminals. However the technology is increasingly popular in other markets and according to Visa Europe, France now has 20.3 million cards and 405,000 terminals, Poland has 14.5 million cards and 354,000 terminals, and Spain has 11.5 million cards and 593,000 terminals that are all contactless enabled.

Commenting on the announcement, Sandra Alzetta, executive director, core products, Visa Europe said,

“The popularity of contactless will only increase in future as we experience the next generation of digital payments, where the simplicity and convenience is extended to mobile and wearable NFC technology.”

With Apple Pay set to launch in the UK in July, contactless payments are expected to see another boost but regardless of the success of Apple’s initial foray into mobile payments, the use of contactless technology via cards or phones for low value transactions will be the new normal for the industry.

Overview by Tristan Hugo-Webb, Associate Director, Global Payments Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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