Visa Europe has chosen Slovakia as a showcase market for the adoption of contactless technology, with 1.43 million cards in circulation recording one million contactless transactions per month.
Almost seven per cent of Visa transactions in Slovakia are contactless, with an average spend of nine euros per card.
Tatra Banka, the first of the local banks to introduce contactless payments in 2010, has recorded explosive growth in the use of the technology over the past year, where it has gained a 44% share of the bank's card transactions. The value of transactions conducted by the bank's 0.63 million cardholders has risen from EUR3.3 million in 2011, to EUR16.5 million in 2012.
Sandra Alzetta, Visa Europe SVP, says: "This is a market where contactless has really taken off. The lead in innovation which Tatra Banka has taken is a key factor here."
Tatra recently joined forces with 02 for a full-scale commercial launch of mobile contactless payments. Customers of the bank who have an NFC-enabled smartphone can simply walk into a local O2 branch, have their SIM card replaced, and walk out again able to make tap and go payments at any of the 12,000 contactless terminals in retailers across Slovakia.
Michal Liday, member of the board of Tatra Banka responsible for retail, comments: "Slovaks like innovations. Since we introduced contactless payment cards in 2010 its use has grown rapidly. And nowadays our clients pay contactless with pleasure using their mobile phone."