Visa Europe has today announced that 3 billion contactless transactions were made on Visa cards and payment-enabled devices in the last 12 months, which is nearly triple the number of transactions from the previous year. “The leap since last April has been significant, growing from 143 million transactions in April 2015 to 360 million in April 2016”, notes the press release. The number suggests nearly 140 contactless transactions were carried out per second.
As consumers have become more comfortable using contactless for their “everyday spending”, the average transaction values have crept up 12% from €12.29 last April to €13.83 today.
Firstly, appetite has grown among Europe’s largest merchants. This is especially the case with supermarkets. Carrefour, Lidl, Tesco and Poland’s Biedronka have all introduced or scaled up contactless in their stores. Secondly, public transport. Transport for London’s (TfL) adoption of contactless continues to be a huge success story, having passed 400m contactless journeys in less than 20 months.
According to Visa, over 1 million contactless journeys are made every weekday on TfL services. Similar to supermarkets, riding on public transport is a regular occurrence, helping contactless usage become ingrained and creating a halo affect that encourages contactless usage in other venues.
Furthermore, the growing adoption of mobile NFC payments, especially Apple Pay which launched in Europe last year, has significantly boosted the number of contactless transactions. Currently, 31 European banks in 8 countries have introduced cloud-based mobile payment solutions for their customers or have programmes in development.
Lastly, wearables like Apple Watch are also playing a major role by offering new ways to make fast and secure contactless payments everyday.