Contactless payments picking up pace in Europe - Mobile World Live

Contactless payments picking up pace in Europe

22 FEB 2018

Almost one quarter of Europeans expect to use contactless payments with smartwatches, bracelets, keyrings and other wearables, figures from Mastercard showed.

Mastercard’s findings come as contactless payments gain ground – spend on Mastercard and Maestro grew by 145 per cent in the last year – as barriers decrease. Concerns around fraud saw big drops in markets including the Netherlands, Spain and the UK, building trust in the technology.

The payments processing company referenced a trial announced earlier this year by Dutch bank ABN Amro as “one of the first banks to enable worldwide payments with a wearable that’s linked to a current account”. In a pilot, 500 customers of different age groups can “experience what it’s like to make contactless payments with a ring, watch, bracelet or keyring”.

Of course, a number of smartwatches and other wearables already support contactless payments, through Apple Pay and the recently rebranded Google Pay. Fitness band leader Fitbit is also moving into the market.

Mastercard said it “continues to work with retailers to help meet expectations surrounding wearable payments”, with 42 per cent growth in the number of retail locations accepting contactless across Europe. In total 38 per cent of all in-store transactions are contactless.

“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,” said Paolo Battiston, EVP, Digital Payments & Labs Europe, at Mastercard.

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Steve Costello

Steve works across all of Mobile World Live’s channels and played a lead role in the launch and ongoing success of our apps and devices services. He has been a journalist...More

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