47 percent of debit card payments in Europe are contactless




Almost one in two digital transactions in Europe is contactless. The new method of payment is particularly quick to gain ground in the Eastern European countries. The Netherlands exceeds the average with 51 percent contactless payments; Belgium is lagging behind with a share of 4 percent.

The figures come from research by Mastercard , an important company in the field of payments. Striking is the enormous advantage of some Eastern European countries. The Czech Republic is leading with no less than 93 percent of contactless transactions in the stores. The technology, which was introduced in this country twenty years ago, is now a regular part of the life of the Czechs. In countries such as Georgia, Poland and Hungary, where contactless payments represent 89, 83 and 82 percent respectively, technology is well established.

Although the Western European countries still do not achieve the same scores, according to Mastercard they are doing pretty well. France registered 25 percent contactless transactions in stores this year, the Netherlands more than doubled by 51 percent. A notable exception is Belgium, where only 4 percent of electronic payments are made using nfc technology, although this is an increase of 363 percent compared to a year ago, when approximately 1 percent contactlessly settled.

The figures are not yet representative of the consumption habits of the Belgians, as is the case in the Netherlands. The Dutch mainly pay for their messages without contact: 76 percent. Tolls and payments at petrol stations come in second place with 11 percent. Another difference with Belgium: in the Netherlands, amounts of less than ten euros account for 44 percent of all contactless transactions; in Belgium this is only 25 percent.

According to the researchers, Belgians are more reluctant to pay contactlessly because of a sense of insecurity. In recent years, a number of myths have arisen, such as the fear that a malicious person might perform an unauthorized transaction simply by keeping a payment terminal in a person’s neighborhood. “Even more than speed and ease of use, safety is the key element to reassure and convince consumers to use this new payment method”, says Arjan Bol, Country Manager Mastercard in the Netherlands. “This is at least what we have seen in the Netherlands since its introduction, and the increase in the number of contactless payments today demonstrates the increased confidence in technology.”

That contactless payment has become popular in Europe at a fast pace is due to its speed and ease. Because no PIN code is required for amounts under 25 euros, the technology saves both the trader and the customer time saving and more ease of use.

Contactless payment


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