Contactless payments reach 'watershed moment' - Visa Europe

Contactless payments reach 'watershed moment' - Visa Europe

Contactless payments have reached a critical inflexion point, says Visa Europe, with more than 19 million transactions conducted across Europe in March.

Contactless momentum in the UK has grown significantly in 2013 with 1.5 million Visa contactless transactions being made on London Buses since December, M&S processing over 230,000 contactless transactions every week and the Post Office installing contactless payment terminals in all of its 11,500 branches.

Anne Van Schrader, head of contactless and mobile NFC at Visa Europe, says: "Markets like the UK, Poland and Spain are leading the way in contactless usage...By the end of 2013, Europeans will be making over 52 million contactless transactions every month."

There are now 58 million contactless cards in Europe, with the volume of transactions surging 46% between December 2012 and March 2013, a development billed by Van Schrader as a "watershed moment" for the technology.

Comments: (6)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 20 May, 2013, 12:002 likes 2 likes

A watershed moment may occur when the contactless transactions reach more than 1% of all card payment transactions. What is that  propotion today? Where are the contactless cards used - in environments new to cards or in stores that already accepted chip + pin? What are the benefits for the latter merchants and for the banking community? What new payment volumes and revenues does the contactless card bring and what is the cost to implement it? New cards, new terminals, new central systems, back office impact, marketing, education of users...and do we really want to make all our payments without cardholder verification? And if not - when do we do chip + pin and when the contactless? It is still early days for contactless.

Nick Collin
Nick Collin - Collin Consulting Ltd - London 20 May, 2013, 13:051 like 1 like

The total number of card transactions in Europe is currently about 40 billion a year, so a contactless volume of 19 million per month represents about a 0.5% share of the total which is less than your criterion of 1%.  Still, that's a very healthy rate of growth and a lot more than a couple of years ago.  For the first time I'm beginning to think contactless may be getting traction.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 21 May, 2013, 10:46Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

19 million is 0.05% of 40 billion

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 21 May, 2013, 11:21Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Per Visa Europe's annual report (http://annualreport.visaeurope.com/pdf/visa_europe_2012.pdf) POS transactions = 24bn in 2012; it's an approximation because of seasonality, but let's say that is 2bn / month or thereabouts. 

19m is just under 1% of 2bn.

Nick Collin
Nick Collin - Collin Consulting Ltd - London 21 May, 2013, 11:34Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

The 40 billion was per year, and covered all brands, while the 19 million is per month, and may or may not be only Visa transactions.  So the market share of contactless is somewhere around between 0.5% and 1%. 

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 21 May, 2013, 17:10Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

It's precisely 0.57% but contactless as a % of *all card* transactions is somewhat misleading since contactless can be used only up to a certain max transaction size in most parts of Europe. A more valid metric would be contactless as a % of *eligible card* transactions and, to me, 10% or more would signify a watershed moment. An even more revealing metric would be contactless as a % of *eligible cash* transactions.

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