Visa card holders in Europe have completed 1.1 billion contactless payment transactions, worth about €12.6bn, in the past 12 months, with contactless cards most used in the UK.
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According to Visa Europe, Brits are the biggest contactless spenders with €330m spent in March 2015 alone. Across Europe, Visa cardholders spent €1.6bn in the same month, which was three times more than the same period in 2014.
More than 130 million Visa contactless cards are now in circulation in Europe, with 49.6 million cards and 410,000 terminals in the UK. In France, there are 20.3 million cards and 405,000 terminals, while Poland has 14.5 million cards in circulation and 354,000 terminals, and there are 11.5 million cards and 593,000 terminals in Spain.
In terms of the number of transactions, the UK was top again with 52.6 million, followed by Poland with 49.7 million and the Czech Republic with 13.9 million.
Visa Europe said by 2020 all point-of-sale terminals in Europe will accept contactless payments. With 240 banks issuing contactless Visa cards, most Visa account holders will have access to a contactless payment device by 2020, added the company.
“Contactless momentum continues to build as more and more people discover it is often the quickest and most convenient way to pay for everyday things,” said Sandra Alzetta, executive director of core products at Visa Europe.
“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 [near-field communication] technology,” she added.
Read more about developments in contactless payments
- Swiss watch-maker Swatch is launching a smartwatch with contactless payment functionality
- Over 40 million fares on London public transport have been paid with contactless cards since it became available in September 2014