Visa racks up 3bn contactless payments across Europe over the past year

Financial services firm Visa has noted its three billionth contactless payment in Europe over the past 12 months, as the PIN-free payment method builds toward ubiquity.

Explosive growth in recent months has seen contactless payments rack up 360m transactions in April alone, equating to 140 payments every second. In the UK growth was even more dramatic with adoption rising 300 per cent to 153m transactions over the month versus a year earlier.

Britain has embraced contactless payments thanks to their eager adoption by merchants such as Tesco, McDonald’s and Transport for London in a bid to increase convenience and limit queuing.

Richard Koch, head of policy at the UK Cards Association, commented: “With contactless cards, rather than cash, becoming the preferred way to pay for smaller purchases, there has been a dramatic drop in the average value of a card transaction in recent years.

“Contactless cards are also being used to pay for travel and to donate to charity and as technology evolves, there will be even more environments in which to use contactless.”

Visa now accounts for one in five Visa card payments across the continent, up from just one in 60 in 2013, with the card provider installing 3.2m contactless payment terminals over the year as it bids to convert all terminals to contactless by 2020.

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