• MasterCard establishes the acceptance of contactless payments as a standard in Europe
  • It is expected that 2 in 3 phones will be NFC enabled by 2018

To tweet this news, copy and paste http://bit.ly/1tH50ds to your Twitter handle with the hashtag #contactless, #mobilepayments 

WATERLOO, Belgium – September 10, 2014 MasterCard has announced today that it is establishing contactless acceptance as standard by 2020 for merchants accepting MasterCard® and Maestro® in Europe, ensuring that, consumers will be able to pay with their contactless cards and NFC enabled devices at all point-of-sale (POS) terminals in Europe by 2020.

Europeans can aContactless Mobile Paymentslready use contactless cards or NFC enabled mobile payments in 36 countries across Europe and their enthusiasm for this safe and simple way to pay is evident” – commented Javier Perez, President MasterCard Europe. “NFC-enabled cell phone shipments are to soar fourfold in the next five years according to IHS Technology.  MasterCard wants to ensure that mobile and contactless payments are safe and simple wherever you are in Europe making it easy to pay how you want when you want..” MasterCard is setting compliance dates with sufficient lead time to absorb the normal terminal lifecycle:

  • Existing POS terminals can be replaced at end of lifecycle, but at the latest by 1 January 2020.
  • New POS terminals must adhere to the new standard upon deployment as from 1 January 2016.

Showcasing just how fast this technology is being adopted by consumers, a contactless study/ conducted by PRIME Research between November 1st 2013 and April 30th 2014 confirmed that consumers enjoy the convenience of contactless payments and expect merchants to catch up with the technology.

According to the PRIME research, the top countries in Europe where consumers are eager to adopt contactless payments and integrate them in their daily routines are the UK, Poland, Russia, Italy, Hungary and France.  In the UK, consumers see the acceptance of contactless payments and the speed of adoption by merchants as a differentiating factor. Muscovites enjoy the convenience of being able to pay for the metro with their MasterCard® PayPass™ card. Consumers are also keen for a higher level of merchant acceptance.


Chris Kangas, Head of Contactless Payments Europe at MasterCard concluded: “In 2013 alone the number of MasterCard and Maestro contactless transactions across Europe tripled and the volume spent on those transactions increased four times. Contactless users tell us on social media that they love tapping and want to tap more. Today’s announcement is a much needed stake in the ground, marking the next milestone for contactless.”

/About the Study PRIME Research conducted the Contactless Payments Report across 56 markets and 26 languages in North and South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Rim, with the focus primarily on Europe. The objective was to assess people’s use of products, adoption willingness and sentiment toward existing options. Using PRIME’s proprietary social media analytics methods and technology, the research firm identified 47,607 relevant social media posts from November 1st 2013, up to and including April 30th 2014 on the subject of contactless payment innovation in the context of MasterCard and its industry peers.

About MasterCard MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com,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 Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

About PRIME Research PRIME Research provides research-based corporate and brand reputation counselling based on trends uncovered through social and traditional media content analysis. The firm, with offices around the world, marries the speed and consistency of technology with the insights and local cultural sensitivity derived from its international staff of 600 analysts and consultants.


Corinne Raes corinne_raes@mastercard.com +32 498 58 5237

Bénédicte Stievenart benedicte_stievenart@mastercard.com +32 498 58 5019