Contactless is the new normal in Europe, with more than a billion tap-and-go purchases worth EUR12.6 billion on Visa cards in the last 12 months.
Across the continent, there are now 131 million Visa contactless cards that can be used at over 2.6 million terminals. By 2020 all Visa point-of-sale terminals in Europe will accept tap-and-pay payments.
In March alone, Europeans spent EUR1.6 billion by tapping their cards, a three-fold increase on the same period in 2014, with most purchases for groceries, restaurant meals and convenience food and drink.
The UK leads the way on adoption, with 49.6 million cards that can be used at 410,000 terminals. France has 20.3 million cards and 405,000 terminals, Poland 14.5 million cards and 354,000 terminals, and Spain 11.5 million cards and 593,000 terminals.
The roll-out of contactless payments on all Transport for London services is one reason for the UK's dominance, with more than 100 million contactless journeys since its launch. This summer Brits will also get access to Apple Pay, a move likely to usher in the move from cards to mobile and wearable NFC payments.
Sandra Alzetta, executive director, core products, Visa Europe, says: "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."