Visa Europe says contactless payments uptake is exceeding expectations, with the chip card technology now available in twice as many countries as this time last year, while transactions have nearly tripled and terminals almost doubled.
In the UK - often seen as a benchmark for contactless growth - 30.3 million cards are now in circulation with 293,600 terminals installed. Access to the payment infrastructure and education about contactless meant that usage soared, resulting in contactless transactions increasing four fold in the year to September 2013, with £461.6 million spent with Visa contactless cards up from £96.7 million in the previous year.
Visa is also reporting a 20% surge in e-commerce transactions across European markets as the card scheme rolled out its V.me by Visa digital payments service in four countries - France, Spain, Poland and the UK.
At the same time, 62 mobile contactless projects are now live or planned to launch across Europe.
The card scheme says it is firmly on track to realise its prediction that 50% of Visa transactions will made be made through a mobile device by 2020.
Commenting on the results, Visa Europe, chief executive officer Nicolas Huss, who joined on 1 October 2013, says: "We have huge scale - as many Visa cards as people in Europe (500m) and €1 in every €6.50 spent in Europe is now spent on a Visa card."
He says the company is now focused on scaling-up its next generation payment services "to move in pace with the rapid adoption of new technologies and, more particularly, the growth of mobile and digital commerce".
With a veiled nod to ongoing chatter among certain European banks about cutting their ties with Visa Europe and setting up an alternative bankcard scheme, he says: "We will apply a disciplined commercial focus to operate a leaner, more agile company. We will work constructively with regulators to arrive at mutually beneficial solutions. And we will work more flexibly to meet the needs of our customers and partners across Europe."