UK Leads Europe In Contactless Payments As Transactions Treble In One Year

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Visa Europe figures reveal over three billion contactless payments took place in Europe over last 12 months, with the UK accounting for most transactions

British consumers are the biggest users of contactless payments in Europe after new figures from Visa Europe showed transactions in the UK rose by 300 percent in the past year.

More than 153 million contactless transactions were recorded in Britain during the twelve months leading up to April 2016, up from 51 million in the previous year.

This contributed to a grand total of three billion contactless transactions across the continent over the last 12 months, nearly triple the amount of the previous year.

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Tube TfL contactless Barclaycard (2)Visa Europe said that high-profile deployments of contactless such as Transport for London (TfL) have pushed awareness and usage of the technology in the UK to an all-time high, as did the growing popularity of services such as Apple Pay.

Restaurants witnesses the largest year-on-year growth (253 percent), followed by general retail (246 percent), supermarkets (219 percent) and food and drink (196 percent).

“The last 12 months has seen contactless payments continue its extraordinary growth as this quick and convenient form of payment reaches more consumers and merchants throughout Europe,” said Tristan Kirchner, executive director, product management at Visa Europe.

“This kind of success hasn’t happened overnight, and it’s down to the sterling efforts across many teams at Visa and the wider payment industry making today’s achievement possible while setting the stage for tomorrow’s technology, including new wearable devices and mobile payment services.”

Going forward, Visa Europe is looking to push contactless adoption even higher, as it rolls out even more payment terminals equipped with the technology.

The company says that most new payment terminals it has deployed across Europe since January are contactless-enabled, helping merchants achieve its target of all terminals in the continent accepting contactless payments by 2020.

It says that there are more than 3.2 million terminals used in stores and restaurants across the continent, up 23 percent from 2.6 million at the end of April 2015, and it is now working with banks and other partners to give consumers access to at least one contactless payment device, including cards, mobile devices and wearables, by 2020.

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