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UK drives rise in contactless transactions

New data has shown that the uptake of contactless payments in Europe continues to climb with over one billion transactions made in the last 12 months.


UK drives rise in contactless transactions

New data has shown that the uptake of contactless payments in Europe continues to climb with over one billion transactions made in the last 12 months.

The figures from Visa Europe also reveal that 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. This is followed by France with 20.3 million cards and 405,000 terminals, Poland with 14.5 million cards and 354,000 terminals, and Spain with 11.5 million cards and 593,000 terminals. 

European consumers were found to be the 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 including 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.

Meanwhile, UK consumers were shown to be the biggest adopters of Visa contactless cards, spending more than €330 million in March alone by touch-to-pay. The roll-out of contactless payments on all Transport for London services is one reason for this accelerated growth of contactless in the UK, as there have been more than 100 million contactless journeys since launch, 85 million of which have been using Visa cards. In the 12 months to March 2015, the number of contactless cards grew by more than 37% in the UK.

Sandra Alzetta, executive director of Core Products at Visa Europe, said: “Contactless momentum continues to build as more and more people discover it’s often the quickest and most convenient way to pay for everyday things. 

“Across Europe, usage levels have soared, with more than one billion contactless transactions made by Visa cardholders in the last 12 months alone. 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 technology.”

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