Contactless payment reaches watershed moment as usage grows 46% in three months

A contactless card at POS
Thieves target contactless payment cards

Visa Europe today confirmed that contactless usage has reached a critical point of adoption across Europe. Monthly transaction numbers across Europe reached more than 19 million in March 2013. Over €1billion has now been spent on contactless cards and smartphones equipped with a Visa payWave app.

2013 has seen contactless momentum in the UK grow significantly with 1.5 million Visa contactless transactions being made on London Buses since December, M&S processing over 230,000 contactless transactions every week and the Post Office installing contactless payment terminals in all of its 11,500 branches.

“We’ve been building the contactless ecosystem across Europe since 2007 so it’s fantastic to see consumers recognise its value. Markets like the UK, Poland and Spain are leading the way in contactless usage and we’ve been instrumental in delivering great success stories like the rollout of Visa contactless acceptance on Transport for London’s bus network,” says Anne Van Schrader, Head of Contactless and Mobile NFC at Visa Europe. “By the end of 2013, Europeans will be making over 52 million contactless transactions every month.”visa-europe-contactless-coffee-c

One in four Visa cards in the UK are now contactless:

  • The UK made 5.3 million contactless transactions in the month of March
  • More than £39million worth of contactless transactions in the month of March
  • 22% usage growth quarter on quarter
  • 1 in every 4 Visa cards in the UK are now contactless with 26.9 million cards in circulation
  • 232,000 terminals installed across the country

“Contactless and mobile payment is set to be an exciting part of the future retail landscape,” insists Sacha Berendji, Retail Director at M&S. “A contactless payment takes place in less than a second, creating a quicker, easier and more convenient shopping experience. Customers are already embracing these benefits and through our roll-out we’re ensuring our stores can cater for customers’ changing shopping habits.”

Contactless payments across Europe:

  • There are now 58 million contactless cards in Europe
  • Contactless cards and phones with the Visa payWave app can be used at 797,000 acceptance points across Europe
  • There are 39 Visa mobile contactless payment projects live across Europe
  • Contactless transactions grew 46% between December 2012 and March 2013

Contactless statistics by market


  • 6.7million contactless cards
  • 16 million cards in the market by the end of 2013
  • 120,000 contactless terminals


  • 57m spend on contactless cards and phones per month
  • 10 million contactless transactions every month
  • 8.6 million contactless cards now in circulation and 116,000 terminals


  • One million contactless transactions in March 2013
  • More than 1.3 million contactless cards
  • More than 10,000 contactless terminals


  • 0.9 million contactless transactions in March 2013
  • 2.9 million cards in the market and 183,000 contactless terminals
  • 7.5 million cards by the end of 2013


  • More than 6 million contactless cards
  • 8.5 million cards in the market by the end of 2013
  • 69,000 contactless terminals

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.