Europe: contactless payments witness three-fold increase in the last 12 months

May 2016
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The number of contactless card transactions tripled in 2015 across Europe, according to a recent report issued by Visa.

Visa figures show that now there are 165 million Visa contactless cards across Europe. Contactless payments account for more than one in five face-to-face Visa payments (up from only one in 60 in 2013), with restaurants having seen the greatest year-on-year growth in contactless transactions. The company said there are now 3.2 million terminals used in stores and restaurants across the continent, up from 2.6 million at the end of April 2015. Most new card machines in Europe from January 2016 are contactless-enabled, reports, citing the Visa study.

In terms of demography, consumers in Poland, Spain and the UK use contactless the most. According to Visa, the reason behind this accelerated contactless payments growth is contactless commuting on Transport for London services, as well as the use of mobile payment services like Apple Pay.

Popular contactless merchants in the UK include Tesco, the Co-Op, Transport for London, McDonald's and Marks & Spencer.