Major growth worldwide in chip and contactless card numbers and transaction volumes

Friday, July 10, 2015

Here at STS, as a leader and specialist in payments software, it is great to see the results of the recent statistical analysis of card payments. The results show that in 2014, over 2,050 million chip payment cards were issued around the globe coming just three years after the figure exceeded the one billion mark, back in 2011.

This significant increase comes in a large part from the growth of Chinese and US markets, with the US card issuers racing to meet the liability shift deadline, set for November 2015.

The analysis also shows the increasing demand for contactless payment solutions worldwide, especially with the introduction of Apple Pay in the US, due to be released in the UK next week. Contactless technology meant that over 42% of the total payment cards issued worldwide enable customers to “tap and go”.

In the UK alone, contactless transactions have risen by 49% in the last 6 months according to Worldpay, who have processed over £2 billion of contactless payments since January 2012. London is the contactless capital of the UK where 38% of all UK transactions take place.

 One particular London based company leading the charge to contactless is Transport for London (TFL), which has revealed that 1.2 million contactless transactions are made across the transport network every day. Rolled out across all TFL services in September 2014, and following a successful trial on bus routes earlier in the year, TFL sees 18,000 new contactless cards being used to pay for travel in the capital every day. Its popularity is at an all-time high with the uptake described as “staggering”.

Leading the retail adoption of contactless solutions in the UK are the supermarkets and food retailers, with 46% of all contactless transactions taking place in their stores. This is closely followed by the hospitality sector with 38% taking place in coffee shops, bars and take-away shops. There are however still many businesses looking to get on-board with contactless payments, especially with the UK contactless transaction amount set to rise to £30,  in September 2015.

Across Europe, both Visa and MasterCard have said that all retail stores will accept contactless payments by 2020, after announcing that any new payment terminal deployed within stores will need to accept contactless from the start of 2016, with all POS terminals accepting contactless by 2020. The new terminals will also accept NFC transactions which have become increasingly popular. There was a 69% rise in NFC smartphones being shipped last year. Moving towards NFC enablement comes at the perfect time as Apple Pay, uses NFC chips in its iPhone 6, 6 Plus and Apple Watch devices.

Steve Turner, CEO of Smart Technology Solutions says, “STS is proud to be able to offer contactless and NFC solutions to its customers including support for both Apple Pay and High Value transactions due to the extensive development work completed over the last couple of years.”

He continues, “We have been at the forefront of the UK contactless rollout, with our software being used for the first UK national rollout at a top quick service restaurant chain. We are making significant investments in R&D to ensure we continue to offer the very best payment solutions to our customers.”

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Sources: Smart Payment Association and Talking Payments