How confidence in contactless payments is accelerating digital commerce

By Charlotte Hogg, Chief Executive Officer, Visa Europe

Using card with Tap to Pay

Consumer confidence in contactless payments has accelerated throughout the Covid-19 pandemic: our research shows two-thirds (65%) of consumers globally would prefer to use contactless payments as much as, or more than, they are currently. Across Europe, over 80% of Visa payments made in-store are now contactless1.

It’s perhaps no surprise then that we’ve now processed one billion additional touch-free transactions in Europe since contactless limits were increased in 29 countries across the continent2. And thanks to the swift action taken by local governments and the wider payments industry to raise contactless limits, remarkably we’ve hit this milestone in under 12 months.

With 400 million of the additional one billion touch-free transactions happening in the UK3, the Government’s recent decision to further increase the limit to £100 means consumers and retailers can further benefit as the economy opens up.

Last year’s raising of contactless payment limits across Europe allowed retailers to keep themselves and their customers moving through checkouts quickly and securely. If anything, confidence in the resilience of contactless payments has perhaps even strengthened over the past year. 

At the same time, contactless remains one of the most secure ways to pay, experiencing one of the lowest rates of fraud across all payment methods. For these reasons, consumers trust contactless payments – and now they also expect to be able to make them wherever they are shopping. It is important independent retailers are able to keep up with this trend.

Continuing to enable contactless payments is also a step in the right direction when it comes to enabling Europe’s economic recovery as restrictions ease and retailers look to capitalise on increasing consumer confidence. We are pleased to be working with our clients and partners to digitally enable over eight million small businesses across Europe, helping them to adapt to changes in how we shop and to enable customers to pay the way they want.

More than 100 partners across Europe have now joined our Where You Shop Matters initiative to help small business owners build digital capabilities and continue serving their communities. Contactless payments play a key role in these capabilities. For example, in the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, Visa is working with governments to provide small businesses access to contactless acceptance terminals and software free of charge for up to 12 months.  

As many independent businesses continue to operate under challenging conditions brought about by the pandemic, it is vital they receive the support and resources to remain open and encourage confidence amongst their customers. We want to support an economic recovery that allows small businesses to thrive and consumers to be able to pay in seamless, secure and flexible ways.

As we embrace the possibilities of touch-free transactions, demand for contactless will continue to grow, allowing consumers to pay how they want while supporting the economic recovery.

1 VisaNet data
2 VisaNet data
3 VisaNet data


Tag: Digital commerce