UK consumers leading the way with nearly 50m contactless cards
Europe has become one of the biggest markets in the world for contactless payments, new figures have revealed
More than 1bn contactless transactions have been made across Europe in the last 12 months, making payments totalling more than €12.6bn (£8.95bn), according to Visa Europe.
And the UK is leading the way in terms of the amount of contactless technology in shops, boasting 49.6 million cards and 410,000 point of sale (POS) terminals, research from the company has shown.
Overall, the company says it has 131 million Visa contactless cards across Europe, which be used at over 2.6 million contactless terminals. This figure is only set to rise, as by Visa says that by 2020 all of its POS terminals in Europe will accept contactless payments.
The figures also show that Visa customers spent €1.6bn (£1.13bn) just in the month of March 2015, three times as much as the same period last year, with the UK contributing more than €330m of this.
The UK also saw the number of contactless cards in the country growing by more than 37 percent in the year up to March 2015.
Visa says that the roll-out of contactless payments on all Transport for London (TfL) services is one of the main reasons behind this boom in growth, as more than 100 million contactless journeys have been made since its launch – 85 million of which have been using Visa cards.
“Contactless momentum continues to build as more and more people discover it’s often the quickest and most convenient way to pay for everyday things,” said Sandra Alzetta, executive director of core products at Visa Europe.
“Across Europe, usage levels have soared, with more than one billion contactless transactions made by Visa cardholders in the last 12 months alone. 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.”
The company currently issues its contactless cards with 240 European banks, and says that the vast majority of Visa account holders will have access to a contactless payment device by 2020.
“We’re proud to have led the way in establishing contactless payments in Europe, and excited to be at the forefront as contactless payments become increasingly available to everyone,” added Alzetta.
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