Contactless technology adoption accelerating in the Netherlands

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Bridge across canal in the historic center of Utrecht in the evening, Netherlands

The Netherlands has seen a significant uptake of contactless payment cards since their introduction in 2014.

Contactless technology is gaining traction in the Netherlands as banks are introducing new solutions to capture a large share of the market. There were 15 million contactless cards in the country in 2015 – an equivalent to 45.5% of overall payments cards.

ABN AMRO Bank added contactless function to all its payment cards in December 2015, enabling consumers to make payment of up to $27.8 (€25) without entering a PIN. Similarly, ING Bank and Rabobank are replacing their existing cards with contactless-enabled payment cards.

Banks and telecom operators are also introducing contactless mobile payment (m-payment) solutions to their customers. For example, Rabobank in partnership with KPN launched an m-payment service in January 2016. In December 2015, ING Bank launched a mobile banking app to facilitate contactless m-payments. Similarly, Vodafone in association with Visa launched a contactless mobile payment service – Visa SmartPass in March 2014. SmartPass allows consumers to pay using their mobile phones at contactless POS terminals having the V PAY logo.

“Such initiatives by card participants and telecom operators are expected to further drive the adoption of contactless payments in the country,” forecasts Timetric analyst Amit Verma.

Alternative payment solutions are also on the rise

The Netherlands has seen an increase in alternative payment methods, with iDEAL, an alternative payment solution that enables online payments, being the most prominent and on demand solution in the country.

iDEAL accounts for  over half of online transaction made in the Netherlands and provides payment services to merchants across more than 50 markets globally, who are selling to Dutch customers. The total transaction value through iDEAL increased from $9.6 billion (€6.9 billion) in 2011 to $20 billion (€18 billion) in 2015.

In order to increase the reach of iDEAL payments across other European countries, the company formed an alliance with Trustly, a Swedish payment solution provider, in December 2015. With this agreement, Trustly became the licensed Collecting Payment Service Provider of iDEAL, allowing it to provide payment solutions to merchants.

Furthermore, it entered into agreement with Alipay, the Chinese payment solution provider of the Alibaba group, to integrate iDEAL payment option to AliExpress, the online store of Alibaba group, in March 2015. In addition to e-commerce purchases, iDEAL also enables consumers to carry out other transactions such as utility bill payments, mobile recharges and donations.

“The uptake of iDEAL among Dutch consumers is increasing. On account of convenience and security iDEAL offers, it has become the most widely used alternative payment solution among the Dutch and will likely continue to dominate the alternative payments market,” says Verma.

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