Success of contactless peaks as shoppers demand wearable payments


One quarter (26%) of British shoppers expect to start using contactless payments with a smartwatch, bracelet, keyring or other forms of wearable payments, according to new figures from Mastercard.

In the UK, contactless spend on Mastercard grew by 139% in the last year, and the huge success of contactless has seen many Brits willing to explore new ways to pay. The figures come as the Netherlands embarks on a wearable payments trial for Dutch bank ABN AMRO. Alongside this continued growth, barriers to using contactless have also decreased. Concerns around fraud see the greatest decrease in the UK (-31%), building trust in Mastercard contactless technology.

Banks across Europe are also working with Mastercard to deliver this new wave in contactless payments. ABN AMRO is one of the first banks to enable worldwide payments with a wearable that’s linked to a current account, with a pilot for 500 customers of different age groups, who will be experiencing what it’s like to make contactless payments with a ring, watch, bracelet or keyring.

“Europe leads the world in contactless payments and its overwhelming success has created a demand for even greater convenience,” says Paolo Battiston, Executive Vice President Digital Payments & Labs Europe at Mastercard. “Shoppers trust in contactless is greater than ever, and in turn it seems they are ready to take this one stage further by trying contactless through connected devices. Pilots like the one we’re involved with in The Netherlands will empower consumers in the digital economy.”

Mastercard continues to work with retailers to help meet expectations surrounding wearable payments, with 42% growth in the number of retail locations accepting contactless across Europe. In the UK, 36% of all in-store transactions are contactless. The Netherlands provides an ideal test bed for wearable payments because 80% of terminals in the country already accept contactless payments. More than 50% of payments in the Netherlands are also made with contactless according to ABN AMRO.