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Visa contactless payments in Europe surge 46% in three months

Visa Europe has announced that contactless payments have surged 46 per cent in three months from December 2012 to March 2013 across Europe.

Contactless payments in Europe have now reached a critical adoption point, with more than 19 million monthly transactions across the continent and 58 million contactless cards in use.

In Europe, over €1 billion (£845.4 million) has been spent using contactless Visa cards or smartphones with the Visa payWave app installed.

UK contactless usage has also increased, with one in four of the 26.9 million UK Visa cards in use now contactless. 5.3 million contactless transactions were made in March alone in the UK, equalling a total of £39 million in purchases.

“We’ve been building the contactless ecosystem across Europe since 2007 so it’s fantastic to see consumers recognise its value,” said Anne Van Schrader, Head of Contactless and Mobile NFC at Visa Europe. “Markets like the UK, Poland and Spain are leading the way in contactless usage and we’ve been instrumental in delivering great success stories like the rollout of Visa contactless acceptance on Transport for London’s bus network.”

According to Visa Europe, 1.5 million Visa contactless transactions have been carried out on London buses since December when the scheme was launched. The Post Office has also installed contactless payment points in all 11,500 of its branches.

“By the end of 2013, Europeans will be making over 52 million contactless transactions every month”, added Van Schrader.

Marks & Spencer has announced that over 230,000 contactless transactions are carried out in their UK retail stores every week.

“Contactless and mobile payment is set to be an exciting part of the future retail landscape,” said Sacha Berendji, Retail Director at M&S. “Customers are already embracing these benefits and through our roll-out we’re ensuring our stores can cater for customers’ changing shopping habits.”

Next, read our pick of the best mobile phones of 2013.

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