According to the latest data from Visa Europe, one in five in-person card transactions are now being made with a contactless card. That translates to roughly 3 billion tap-and-pay transactions in Europe over the course of the last 12 months, tripling levels from a year ago.
The value of those swipes-turned-taps has also been on the rise of late; the 360 million or so uses of contactless cards in April showed a 12 percent uptick in value. Notably, this grows the average value of a swipe to ~$15.75.
The data indicates that much of the push comes as “everyday spend” merchants are increasingly incorporating contactless terminals into checkout. Food purchases at restaurants have seen the biggest growth — 153 percent year over year — followed by general retail (146 percent), supermarkets (119 percent) and QSR spending (96 percent).
The heaviest use of contactless cards is in the U.K., where growth was in the 300 percent range, followed by Poland and Spain.
“This kind of success hasn’t happened overnight, and it’s down to the sterling efforts across many teams at Visa and the wider payment industry making today’s achievement possible, while setting the stage for tomorrow’s technology, including new wearable devices and mobile payment services,” noted Tristan Kirchner, executive director of product management at Visa Europe.
Visa’s report also noted that the addition of Apple Pay and Barclaycard’s bPay to the marketplace have further encouraged both merchants and consumers to adopt new payment methods.