It’s been a good couple of weeks for proponents of contactless technology. First, it was announced that the contactless spend limit would be raised from £20 to £30 and then the UK Cards Association found that more and more consumers were ditching traditional payments, with over £2 billion being spent in the first six months of the year via contactless cards.
Mastercard’s research into its own Tap&Go contactless technology in Europe keeps the run of good news going.
170% year-on-year increase
In the second quarter of 2015, tap transactions in Europe grew by almost 170 per cent year on year and consumers already using contactless have tapped 20 per cent 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 per cent at restaurants & bars and 10 per cent at retail stores.
New contactless standards
MasterCard plans to introduce new standards for retailers that will lead to a more advanced contactless payment experience for mobile NFC payments.
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 extra security feature will open up contactless transactions to all values.
MasterCard expects that 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.
‘Pay with their smartphone everywhere’
“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,” said Chris Kangas, head of Contactless Payments Europe at MasterCard.
Mastercard is working with Stripe to expedite the payment process for American sellers on the latter's marketplaces using the instant payouts feature from Stripe.
Lloyds has launched biometric finger print authentication for mobile banking.
Barclaycard has partnered with Case Station, a company that makes personalised phone cases, to embed contactless technology in the latter's smartphone cases.
Digital challenger bank, N26, which has been live for one and a half years and has more than 200,000 customers, rolled out a new feature that allows its customers to transfer money using Siri. All they have to do is talk to it.