Contactless payments rising rapidly in Europe
New figures have revealed that Visa cardholders used their contactless cards to make more than 94.3 million purchases in the UK in 2013 compared to just under 25 million in 2012.
The data from Visa Europe shows that contactless purchases were not just up in the UK but across the whole of Europe, with Visa cards used to make a 340.1 million contactless purchases across the continent last year.
The top three markets to embrace Visa contactless payments in Europe in the last 12 months were Poland with 158.7 million purchases, the UK with 94.3 million purchases, and the Czech Republic with 30.6 million purchases. In fourth and fifth positions came Slovakia and Spain with 23.1 million and 17.5 million purchases respectively.
Visa Europe said the number of contactless terminals rose by almost 200% to reach over 300,000.
The statistics also show a big increase in the number of Visa contactless cards in circulation compared to December 2012. There are now 32.1 million Visa contactless cards in circulation in the UK with the European total reaching 80.6 million, a 158% increase on 2012.
The average UK purchase value in 2013 was £6.09 while the average purchase value across Europe was €9.18.
Sandra Alzetta, executive director at Visa Europe, said: “We’ve seen impressive growth across the board on the amount of Visa contactless cards within the UK and the overall purchases and spend.”
She added: “Spend has risen to over £618 million in 2013, with £82 million being spent in December of last year alone.”
Visa Europe also reported that 10 million contactless journeys were made on London buses using Visa contactless cards.
Alzetta said: “Use of contactless will rise even further in the UK with the arrival of contactless payments on the London Underground later this year.”
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