The number of contactless transactions on MasterCard and Maestro cards in Europe passed the one billion mark for the first time in 2015, an increase of 150% on the previous year.
New data reveal the number of cards, mobile phones or other devices tapping soared by 121%, and the total MasterCard and Maestro spend on contactless transactions was up by 183% year on year.
In Europe alone, there are already over 10 countries with over 5 million contactless cards or devices in circulation for each of them. These are accepted in 74 countries around the world, including Estonia and Iceland, which have recently been added to Europe’s contactless map.
Merchants have also followed suit, with 2015 showing a 72% increase in the number of contactless merchant locations compared to 2014. MasterCard estimates that MasterCard or Maestro contactless cards or devices can now be used at over 4 million merchant locations worldwide.
Frontrunners in Europe include the Czech Republic, where almost four in five of in-store transactions processed by MasterCard were contactless in 2015, and Poland, where tap and pay became the most popular option among shoppers at 55%.