Contactless Continent

Mastercard helps Europe leads the way with Contactless adoption as it becomes the ‘new normal’

  • 78% of all Mastercard transactions across Europe are now contactless
  • Mastercard has enabled 42 countries to raise their spending limits in 2 months in order to help people everywhere benefit from the fastest and simplest way to pay
  • People now using contactless for everyday purchases cite simplicity and cleanliness as reasoning in new Mastercard study
  • Mobile contactless transactions have doubled in Europe in Q1

Brussels, Belgium, 28th May 2020 – As Mastercard reveal that 78 per cent of all transactions across Europe are now contactless, new European research released today identifies consumer habits and viewpoints that indicates this is a consumer change that will stand the test of time.

In Europe, contactless adoption was already high – ahead of the rest of the world – and Mastercard has already committed to enabling 42 countries to raise their spending limits in order to help people everywhere benefit from the fastest and simplest way to pay.

With 89 per cent of people asked agreeing that contactless payments have been easy to adopt, nearly half (42 per cent) of people across Europe admit their use of cash has decreased throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. 73 per cent of Europeans claimed that the pandemic ending won’t change their contactless usage and 64 per cent claimed this is now their preferred way to pay in-store.

Mastercard had previously seen mobile contactless transactions double in Europe (7 per cent to 14 per cent yoy in Q1) but paying contactlessly with a debit or credit card remains the most popular method (86 per cent). 28 per cent are using their mobile phone and an average of 4 per cent are using contactless enabled devices such as a watch. Overall 17 per cent have claimed they are no longer using cash at all and 40 per cent say they have actually changed which cards they use most frequently in order to use contactless payments.

In Europe Mastercard have always led the way in terms of contactless but the rate of, not just adoption, but engagement with this way of paying is clear to see. Having enabled so many countries to raise their contactless limits, we are now focused on safety and security. Our technology has always been there to help navigate the change in consumer behaviours and ensure money is kept safe so that all of the people we serve can have peace of mind in this ever evolving world of commerce.” said Milan Gauder, Executive Vice President of Product and Innovation, Europe at Mastercard.

Consumers using contactless for everyday purchases cite cleanliness (81 per cent) and ease of usage (85 per cent) as their reasons for a permanent adoption. Grocery stores are the top destination for contactless usage (87 per cent) along with other retail stores (48 per cent) and pharmacies (54 per cent). Whilst 64 per cent of consumers adopted contactless payments as a safer way to pay, there is still some work to do on offering people true peace of mind.

“Fraud problems on contactless payments are comparatively lower than chip & pin in Europe and that is still declining. Anti-fraud measures like the application of cumulative limits and sharpened fraud controls have been implemented since the contactless limits have been raise so people should feel confident that they are protected.” Rigo Van den Broeck adds, Senior Vice President Cyber Intelligence Solutions Mastercard.


/Public Release. The material in this public release comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.