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Visa Processes a Whopping 1 Billion Payments in Europe - 400 Million in the UK Alone - Is a Cashless Society Imminent?

After contactless limits were raised, Visa processed 1 billion extra payments across Europe, with 400 million in the UK alone. In addition, 65% of consumers prefer contactless payments, indicating a shift towards a cashless society.

Visa Processes a Whopping 1 Billion Payments in Europe - 400 Million in the UK Alone - Is a Cashless Society Imminent?

Visa announced last week they had processed a tremendous 1 billion additional payments across Europe, of which 400 million took place in the UK alone. Wow!

This surge was seen less than a year after contactless limits increased. A response to the sharp rise in consumers demanding a higher payment ceiling amid the COVID-19 pandemic - With ease, convenience and safety play a significant role in this increasingly digitally focused society.

Major ‘pay-tech’ players like Visa are taking note - allowing businesses to accept larger card payments from their ‘cash-less’ customers. 65% of consumers stated they would prefer to use contactless payments as much as, or more than, they do currently said Visa. Charlotte Hogg, Chief Executive Officer of Europe at Visa, commented: “The demand for touch-free payments indicates contactless has become the norm for European consumers and retailers. They are also among the lowest fraud rates of any payment type.”

“Enabling contactless payments will be key to Europe’s economic recovery, and while raising contactless limits alone won’t revitalise the European economy, it is a step in the right direction, giving consumers the confidence to spend and providing shops, restaurants and other retailers a boost just when they need it most.”

As facilitators of contactless payments, we, too, have experienced the increasing demand from payment solution providers. Who wants to integrate our pay-tech software and framework within their existing payment strictures? Alongside small business owners, use our dedicated stand-alone card reading app. Many are looking to embrace and adapt to the change in consumer behaviour as customers' ideals and safety concerns shift from the pandemic. Uk finance noted that contactless payments accounted for 41% of all credit card and 60% of all debit card transactions in December 2020, showing few signs of slowing down as the UK economy sees pubs, retailers, and beauty and entertainment reopening from April 12th.

Which feeds into the broader discussion of ‘Are we heading towards a cashless society sooner than we think?’ Nordic countries like Sweden are already looking to go cashless by 2023, along with Finland being the readiest to transition towards a cashless society ranking second to Ireland in terms of frequency of card use. Across the world, China has seen revolutionary developments in the rapid adoption of mobile payments, notably through QR codes. However, behind China, the UK ranks number two globally for e-commerce as a percentage of GDP.

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