Contactless payments on the rise

The use of contactless payments in Europe continues to climb with more than one billion transactions in the last 12 months, according to new figures.

Visa cardholders spent 1.6 billion euro in March 2015 alone, according to figures from Visa Europe
Visa cardholders spent 1.6 billion euro in March 2015 alone, according to figures from Visa Europe

Data from Visa Europe shows Visa cardholders spent 1.6 billion euro in March 2015 alone - a three-fold increase over the same month in 2014.

The UK leads Europe in Visa contactless cards issued, while Spain has most terminals.

Across the continent, 131 million Visa contactless cards are carried in the pockets and purses of consumers and used regularly at more than 2.6 million contactless terminals. By 2020 all Visa point-of-sale terminals in Europe will accept contactless payments.

British consumers are by far the biggest adopters of Visa contactless cards, spending more than 330 million euro in March alone by touch-to-pay. The roll-out of contactless payments on all Transport for London (TfL) services is one reason for this accelerated growth of the payment method in the UK.

In the 12 months to March 2015, the number of contactless cards in the UK grew by more than 37%.

Sandra Alzetta, executive director of core products at Visa Europe, said: "Contactless momentum continues to build as more and more people discover it's often the quickest and most convenient way to pay for everyday things. Across Europe, usage levels have soared, with more than one billion contactless transactions made by Visa cardholders in the last 12 months alone. "