Brits lead Europe in contactless payment revolution

7 July 2015 - Janet Bird

Brits lead Europe in contactless payment revolution

More contactless payment Visa cards have been issued in the UK than anywhere else in Europe, a new report by the financial services provider has revealed.

Visa Europe revealed a staggering 49.6 million of the cards are in circulation in the UK, more than double the number issued in France (20.3 million) and way ahead of Poland (14.5 million) and Spain (11.5 million). Across Europe, there are now 130 million contactless Visa cards in circulation, which have been used in 1.1 billion transactions over the last 12 months.

In March alone, 52.6 million UK transactions were made using the contactless technology, compared with 49.7 million in Poland, which had the next highest number in Europe, and 13.9 million in the Czech Republic. During that period, Visa cardholders in Europe spent 1.6 billion - a threefold increase on the same period in 2014 - while in the UK the total spent on contactless payments was over 234 million.

One reason for this is thought to be the roll out of contactless payments on all Transport for London (TfL) services.

This has contributed to a rise of 37 percent in the number of contactless cards in the UK over the 12 months to the end of March 2015.

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