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500 million additional touch-free Visa payments as European contactless limits increase


  • Consumers embrace touch-free payments as Visa processes half a billion additional PIN-less transactions since contactless payments limits increased across Europe due to COVID-19
  • The convenience and ease of touch-free payments means consumers are increasingly choosing PIN-free technology for their everyday spending
  • The pandemic has accelerated the global demand for easy, quick and secure commerce, with more businesses also accepting contactless payments

London, 20 OCTOBER 2020 – Visa today announced that it has processed more than half a billion additional touch-free payments, where previously consumers would have needed to use a PIN pad, since contactless limits were increased in more than 29 countries across Europe.

COVID-19 has transformed contactless payment from a nice-to-have to a must-have. The ability to pay digitally in-stores is no longer just a convenience but a necessity for consumers and merchants, helping them to avoid contact with payment terminals.

The growing demand for contactless is visible across Europe, where over 75 percent of in-store Visa payments are now contactless. In some European countries, the share of Visa transactions that are contactless have more than doubled year-on-year[1] and in many of the largest Europe nations, the share of Visa transactions that are contactless has increased by at least 20% in the past year[2].

Charlotte Hogg, Chief Executive Officer, Europe, Visa, said: “The increasing popularity of contactless payments across Europe is not new – the pandemic has only served to accelerate an existing trend, only now touch-free payments are no longer a convenience, but a necessity. When the global pandemic hit, we immediately prioritised working with our partners across Europe to raise contactless payment limits in order to help consumers pay more easily and securely and reduce the need to enter their PIN.

“Introducing higher contactless limits is just part of how Visa is supporting the economic recovery in Europe. Our goal is to enable individuals and businesses to thrive, be that through making it easier and more secure for consumers to pay in person and online, or helping small businesses adapt to the changing environment. This has never been more important than now.”

Underpinned by Visa’s leading payment technology and security, European consumers are increasingly able to tap their cards and mobile devices to make touch-free payments while on the move. Visa’s latest transit innovation means contactless payment can now also be used for travel in more than 50 European cities.

What’s more, contactless cards experience among the lowest fraud rates of any type of payment and that fraud at the physical point of sale has remained at historic lows in countries where contactless payments are widely used.

[1] VisaNet data, June 2020

[2] VisaNet data, June 2020

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About Visa

Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is the world’s leader in digital payments. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, reliable and secure payment network - enabling individuals, businesses and economies to thrive. Our advanced global processing network, VisaNet, provides secure and reliable payments around the world, and is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second. The company’s relentless focus on innovation is a catalyst for the rapid growth of digital commerce on any device for everyone, everywhere. As the world moves from analog to digital, Visa is applying our brand, products, people, network and scale to reshape the future of commerce. For more information, visit our website (, blog (, and @VisaUK.