Globally, tapping to pay with contactless cards has taken off remarkably, and the U.S., after years of lagging behind, is starting to catch up, according to a new blog post from Visa.
“We’re excited to share that tapping to pay is becoming a reality across the U.S., and continues to gain momentum globally,” Dan Sanford, global head of contactless payments, Visa wrote in the May 13 post.
Around the world, tapping is becoming a dominant payment factor quickly — excluding the U.S., nearly half of all Visa transactions at physical points of sale happen via contactless card tap. In Western Europe, that figure is higher: nearly two-thirds of all transaction happen via tap. And in Canada, Central Europe, the Middle East and Africa that figure is closer to 60 percent. Asia Pacific lags behind the global average somewhat, with one-third of all in-person transactions happening via contactless card.
More notably, Sanford writes, the U.S., buttressed by the adoption of EMV technology, is now leaving behind its status as the global outlier where contactless is concerned.
“Today, 80 out of Visa’s top 100 merchants by transactions in the U.S. currently offer customers the ability to tap to pay at checkout. U.S. consumers are getting more ways to tap with 11 out of the top 25 U.S. issuers now rolling out newly available contactless cards. Much like other markets around the world, consumers have quickly embraced the speed and convenience of tapping to pay,” Sanford wrote.
Visa also expects to see U.S. use of tap to pay accelerate as contactless payments go online with public transportation systems. This summer the New York City MTA prepares to implement contactless technology at subway turnstiles and bus terminals across the city. TransLink in Vancouver, as a point of comparison, saw more than 7 million taps of contactless cards and mobile devices by 700,000 unique credit cards in the first year since launch.
Sanford noted that as more consumer have a chance to make tap-to-pay technology a part of their daily commerce interactions, Visa believes it will become a force in U.S. commerce much the way it has worldwide.