MasterCard to bust mobile contactless limits across Europe

MasterCard to bust mobile contactless limits across Europe

MasterCard is to bust the limits for mobile contactless payments across Europe, enabling shoppers to use their handheld devices for higher value tap and pay purchases at the checkout.

Using payment services such as Apple Pay, consumers can already make higher value (+£30) contactless transactions by authenticating themselves with their fingerprint or a PIN code on their mobile phone or other device. However, currently this is only available at selected retailers.

By 2017 all contactless terminals will be upgraded to allow higher value payments, says MasterCard.

The move comes as the card scheme reports 64% growth in contactless acceptance across Europe over the past 12 months. In the second quarter of 2015, tap transactions across the continent grew by almost 170% year on year, while contactless spend tripled.

MasterCard already announced last year that contactless would be accepted at every point of sale across Europe by 2020. It also partnered with Norwegian firm Zwipe to launch a contactless payment card with built-in fingerprint sensor.

Chris Kangas, head of contactless payments Europe at MasterCard says: “The list of retailers accepting contactless never stops growing. Over the last quarter, we have announced new acceptance deals across Europe with major retailers like Ikea and McDonald’s. The drive to full contactless acceptance is taking hold. In July 2015, 43% of new terminals installed had contactless capability which is up from 21% the previous year.”

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