Contactless payments (made either with a card or a mobile) win more and more customers’ and retailers’ votes. Their numerous advantages include user-friendliness, faster check out, and cost-effectiveness for society. Overall, they make the payment experience better, and even fun. There is evidence that the introduction of contactless capabilities at the point of interaction (POI) can significantly boost the volume of card transactions, as shown by the experience of some European countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, for example), which have already implemented a broad contactless infrastructure.
The Euro Retail Payments Board ( – a high-level body chaired by the European Central Bank, bringing together the supply and demand sides of the industry to address strategic retail payments issues), carefully studied the European landscape of contactless payments. It concluded that the market is fragmented in terms of maturity in the adoption of contactless payment solutions, and the implementation of the technical standards. In order to reach harmonised contactless proximity payments and a more uniform customer experience in Europe, whilst keeping security front of mind, the produced ten recommendations. These are available in a report, published in November 2015, to which the European Payments Council contributed considerably. The implementation of these recommendations should enable a broader take-up of contactless payments in Europe, which in turn will reduce the use of less cost-effective payment instruments, such as cash and cheques.
One of the recommendations made in the report is to “enhance society awareness on contactless payments”. For this purpose, a consumer leaflet was recently developed. This leaflet explores the benefits of contactless payments, explains how they work, and addresses some concerns that the general public might have about their security. This leaflet was created with the support of the European Central Bank (which translated it into all European Union languages), the , the consumer organisation, BEUC (liaising with AGE Platform Europe) and the retailers association, EuroCommerce. It will become available on all members’ websites, including the EPC’s. Training material about contactless, designed for retailer staff, is also being created by the .
We have no doubt that a few years from now, the below sign will be widely recognised by the general public across Europe as an easy way to pay:
Help to spread the word about the convenience of contactless payments to your family and friends, and share the leaflet with them! And if you have not yet paid contactless try it!
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