MasterCard reveals strong growth of contactless payments in Europe

paypassWhether at major retailers, grocery stores or parking , using vending machines or taking mass transit and taxis, Europeans appear to love contactless to pay for their everyday purchase. In the last quarter of 2014, contactless transactions in Europe grew by 174 % year on year and ‘tappers’ (a MasterCard term) increased their usage by more than 20%. In the UK and Poland, more than 90% of tappers declared themselves completely satisfied when using contactless to make a payment*.

Historically, Europeans would have paid for their morning coffee with coins; 10 years later, it’s much easier and safer to pay, says MasterCard. With acceptance at over 3 million contactless-enabled retailer locations globally, representing a 56% year-over-year increase, it’s also more convenient than ever for everyone to use their contactless card, mobile or other device for purchases. Europeans are increasingly embracing contactless: 52% of MasterCard® and Maestro® in-store transactions are contactless in the Czech Republic, while similar growth trends are being seen in Poland (33%), in Hungary (18%) and in Slovakia (17%). According to data published by The UK Cards Association, spending on contactless cards in the UK has more than trebled over the last year to reach a record £2.32 billion in 2014. MasterCard or Maestro contactless is available in 38 countries in Europe (68 countries around the world) and each of the following countries have issued more than 5 million contactless cards – Austria, France, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Turkey, and the UK.

When asked about the convenience of contactless devices, an average of 73% of consumers in Germany, Poland, Spain and the UK find the mobile phone a convenient way to pay. 42% of Polish would definitively consider paying contactless with their smart phones**. “Our vision for digital payments is to create great payment experiences for everyone across all channels and all devices.  In 2014 MasterCard published its specifications that leverages Host Card Emulation (HCE) for secure near field communication (NFC) contactless payment transactions.  HCE provides another deployment option for issuers to launch NFC wallets,” said Javier Perez, President MasterCard Europe. In Europe, 22 countries are live with more than 70 mobile NFC projects.

Transit is a proven driver of contactless adoption by consumers. In London, millions of customers have easier and more convenient journeys since Transport for London (TfL) introduced contactless payments in September 2014. To date, there have been over 40 million journeys using a contactless card or device and contactless payments, making up nearly 12% of Pay as You Go journeys. In St Petersburg, subway riders no longer need to purchase a separate ticket or token for their ride thanks to the recent implementation of contactless payment acceptance.
Javier Perez, President MasterCard Europe, concluded, “Europeans are really embracing contactless payments. Our vision is to ensure that wherever you are, your MasterCard and Maestro contactless payment is a fast, easy and safe way to pay. The Netherlands is a great example by being the quickest growing contactless country in Europe reaching one million transactions per month; in Q4 2014 the number of contactless transactions was 8 times more than in the second quarter of the same year!”

*RTi Market Research & Brand Strategy – December 2014
**InSites Consulting – September 2014

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Categories: Contactless Payments

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