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November 26, 2022

Visa survey: Contactless payments’ share doubles in less than one year

The share of contactless payments in Romania increased from 10 percent of the total number of Visa card payments in early 2016 to 20 percent in Q3, and the network of POS accepting such payments expanded to nearly 50 percent of the total number of terminals, shows a survey by Visa payments network operator.

“The rapid adoption of contactless payments is visible in Romania, as their share of total payments by Visa cards has doubled in less than a year from 10 pct in early 2016 to 20 pct in Q3. Thus, the spectacular growth in the use of contactless technology that set in 2015 continued this year. Payments by contactless Visa cards increased more than 20 times in 2015,” a Visa release said.

In the same interval, the network of contactless payment terminals reached almost 50 percent of the total number of Romania’s POS terminals; with 153,000 POS terminals installed at retailers at the end of Q3, as per central bank data, this means the number of contactless terminals exceeds 70,000.

At European level, the use rate of contactless cards increased to 52 percent in 2016 from 36 percent in 2015, while the total number of contactless cards reached 165 million units, and the network of terminals accepting such payments reached 3.4 million POS, shows the cited survey.

“All of Europe’s newly installed payment terminals are contactless and the assumed goal is to have the entire European network of POS, Romania included, accept such payments by 2020,” the release mentions.

At European level, the tendency to adopt contactless payments is visible not only among young people, who are naturally more inclined to accept new technologies, but in all age categories. The highest growth rate, of 64 percent, is recorded in the age category of 55 – 64, shows the Visa survey.

At the same time, the authors of the survey argue that there is a very strong correlation between the current use of contactless technology and the interest in using mobile payments.

The Visa survey also revealed that in most cases the purchase of high-value goods involves both online and physical stores.

“Seven out of ten Europeans go to a physical store to examine a product they plan to purchase online. Romanians use this tactic even more frequently, at a rate of eight out of ten buyers,” the cited document states.

Yet despite a significant increase in online sales of Christmas gifts, physical stores further hold an important role due to the customer’s desire to interact with sellers and have direct contact with the purchased product, the survey notes.

“Physical stores continue to play an important role, so it is vital that we are able to provide fast payment solutions, such as contactless technology. Contactless payment proves particularly useful during the peak year-end shopping season, by reducing waiting time at the counter and bringing higher sales for the retailers,” said Catalin Cretu, Visa Europe general manager for Romania, Croatia, Malta and Slovenia.

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