Impressive 64% growth of merchants accepting MasterCard and Maestro contactless in Europe compared to Q2 2014

WATERLOO, Belgium – September 8, 2015 – Europeans increasingly tap for their everyday purchases as they benefit from its speed and convenience. In the second quarter of 2015, tap transactions in Europe grew by almost 170 % year on year and consumers already using contactless have tapped 20% more. Contactless spend (in Euros) tripled in Europe compared to Q2 2014. In Q2 2015, 1 out of 2 contactless transactions was done at food stores; followed by 14.5% at restaurants & bars and 10% at retail stores.Twitter_Graph

To continue to amplify the usability of contactless payments in Europe, MasterCard announces new standards for retailers that will lead to an even smoother and more intuitive contactless payment experience for mobile NFC payments.  In short, these new standards aim to drive the authentication of transactions onto the mobile device, using biometric capabilities offered by many smartphones or by using a PIN code entered on the device before or after that tap.  This on-device authentication has the added advantage of opening NFC smartphone payments for all values – today in several markets like the UK and France it is only possible to tap for amounts up to a fixed limit (€25 in France and £30 in the UK).  By 2017 when these standards are fully adopted in Europe it will be possible to pay at all contactless acceptance points with NFC smartphones for all values.

Today’s announcement follows last year’s announcement establishing contactless acceptance at all MasterCard points-of-acceptance across Europe by 2020.  Also recently announced, MasterCard has raised the contactless limit in the UK from £20 to £30 as of September 1, 2015, paving the way for more contactless card transactions.

Chris Kangas, Head of Contactless Payments Europe at MasterCard adds: “The capabilities of smartphones combined with the latest terminal standard we’ve been deploying in Europe for the last 3 years will lead us to a future where one could pay with their smartphone everywhere. And, the list of retailers accepting contactless continues to grow. Over the last quarter, we have announced new contactless acceptance deals across Europe with major retailers like Ikea in Austria; Media Saturn in Germany; restaurants like McDonald’s in Belarus; the Electric Castle Festivals in Romania and the recent contactless launch in the metro in Kyiv in June. The drive to full contactless acceptance is taking hold as reflected in recent device statistics: in July 2015, 43% of new terminals installed had contactless capability which is an improvement from 21% in July 2014.”

MasterCard contactless technology is one of the solutions that can help retailers to reduce queuing at the cashier or make life easier for consumers when they commute every day. For example, on June 8, 2015, Transport for London (TfL) reported more than 100 million journeys paid with contactless bankcards since the launch in September 2014. Now 1 out of 10 contactless bankcard transactions in the UK are made on TfL’s network, making it one of the largest contactless merchants worldwide. In Russia, contactless payments are available in Moscow at parking meters, in the metro and at ticket vending machines at a number of local and regional bus routes, in St. Petersburg at turnstiles of the underground, at bus routes and trams.

Javier Perez, President MasterCard Europe, concluded: “Consumers in 40 European countries are endorsing the contactless payment experience as part of their day-to-day life. 61% of MasterCard® and Maestro® in-store transactions are contactless in the Czech Republic, while similar growth trends are being seen in Poland (41%), in Hungary (27%) and in Slovakia (27%). Every time consumers see the contactless logo, they can use any contactless enabled device whether it’s a card, a mobile phone or another contactless enabled form factor to pay at home but also abroad”.


All data mentioned in this press release come from the MasterCard Data Warehouse

About MasterCard MasterCard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news.


Corinne Raes +32 498 58 5237