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13 AUGUST 2015

























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Thursday, 16 July 2015 16:20
1 billion contactless - how impressive is this?
Visa Europe figures pose question over how much is a lot?

It happens every time figures are released that are supposed to illustrate how well something is doing - in this case, Visa Europe has released figures that show one billion contactless payments in the last 12 months. It sounds a lot but is it? Various people have made comparisons among them this one from pymnts.com: "Looking past Visa Europe’s figures, according to data published by the European Central Bank, the total number of non-cash payments in the EU, across the different types of instruments, increased by 6% percent to 100 billion in 2013 compared with the previous year. Card payments accounted for 44% of all transactions, while credit transfers accounted for 27% and direct debits for 24%.

Therefore, 44% of 100 billion is 44 billion. If of those 44 billion, 1 billion were made with contactless, that would be approximately 2.2%.

Is 2.2 per cent of non-cash payments impressive?

Here are the figures from Visa Europe:
•    1.1 billion contactless transactions made by Visa cardholders across Europe in the last 12 months
•    More than €12.6 billion spent in total
•    More than 130 million Visa contactless cards are now in circulation in Europe
•    Visa’s contactless infrastructure is ready for the next generation of digital payments

Visa states: "There is no question that contactless payments are the new normal as consumers embrace the speed and convenience of touch-to-pay technology. The latest data from Visa Europe shows that uptake of contactless payments in Europe continues to climb with over one billion transactions made in the last 12 months. Figures also show that Visa cardholders spent €1.6 billion in the month of March 2015 alone - an astonishing three-fold increase when compared to the same period in 2014."

The UK leads Europe in Visa contactless cards issued while Spain is top of the league table with the number of terminals. The UK has 49.6 million cards and 410,000 terminals, followed closely by France (20.3 million cards, 405,000 terminals), Poland (14.5 million cards, 354,000 terminals) and Spain (11.5 million cards and 593,000 terminals).

Across the continent, 131 million Visa contactless cards are carried in the pockets and purses of consumers and used regularly at over 2.6 million contactless terminals. By 2020 all Visa point-of-sale terminals in Europe will accept contactless payments. Currently, 240 banks across the continent already issue contactless Visa cards and the vast majority of Visa account holders will have access to a contactless payment device by 2020.

European consumers are most likely to use contactless for everyday purchases such as groceries, restaurant meals and convenience food and drink. The data reveals that consumers are also comfortable using contactless to pay for higher value items such as the weekly grocery shop in countries such as the Czech Republic, Poland and Spain, where cardholders can use contactless to pay for any value by touching to pay and entering their PIN on the terminal.

Higher value contactless payments will continue to roll out at merchants across Europe, paving the way for mobile NFC payments, as banks and major companies launch mobile payment products throughout the rest of the year.
 
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