Contactless payments by Visa cards doubled in less than one year in Romania, from 10 percent at the beginning of the year to 20 percent in the third quarter.

Over half of Visa payments made in Europe are contactless, after enjoying a rapid increase, of over 20 percent in 2015. Specifically, in 2016 the use rate increased to 52 percent in 2016, after growing by 36 in the presvious year, while the total number of cards enabling contactless payments went up to 165 million units, a Visa survey shows.The network reached 3.4 million POS terminals that use contactless technology.

According to Visa representatives, the adoption of contactless technology is visible in Romania too. Their share în the total number of transactions made by Visa cards doubled in less than one year.

Romania is one of the European markets with the most rapid growth pace in the adoption of contactless technology in the past two years. Nearly one in five payments made by Visa cards în Romania is contactless, double compared to the beginning of the year, which shows the usefulness and benefits of this technology for consumers, but also for retailers. For this reason, Visa committed to contribute to the improvement of the payment experience and works together with the banks and the other partners to extend the access to the contactless payment devices, including mobile devices and wearables,” Catalin Cretu, Visa general manager for Romania, Croatia, Malta and Slovenia.

The network of devices for contactless represents 50 percent of the total number of POS terminals in Romania. At a European level, adoption is not visible only among youth, which are naturally inclined to adopt new technologies, Visa representatives argue, but among all age categories. Specifically, the 55-64 age group recorded 64 percent increase.

Moreover, there is a very tight correlation between the current usage of contactless technology and the interest in using the future mobile payment. Compared to the users of non-contactless cards, people who pay by using contactless cards are much more interested in using mobile devices to make contactless payments în shops (52 percent of contactless card users vs. 32 percent of users of non-contactless cards).

Georgeta Gheorghe