‘Every single terminal’ in Europe to accept contactless by 2020

From next year, all retailers across Europe must accept contactless payments, according to MasterCard’s senior vice-president

Mastercard's senior vice president has been vocal about his belief contactless payments will become prolific across Europe by 2020

During its ‘Future of Payments’ event, Mike Cowen, the head of MasterCard’s emerging payment methods, explained how contactless payment systems will become commonplace across Europe by the end of the decade.

“It is moving at different paces in different parts of Europe,” Cowan told Trusted Reviews. “Last year we set out a couple of standards for the industry to try and achieved universal contactless acceptance across Europe within a sensible timescale.”

Governments across Europe have pushed for the installation more contactless payment terminals in a bid to limit the amount of physical cash in circulation. Proponents for a cashless society claim that it will help cut costs, enhance tax compliance and reduce crime.

So far, contactless payment terminals have been setup across 22 European countries and by the time 2019 rolls around, MasterCard predict that more than 195 billion transactions will be processed using smartphones.

“From the beginning of next year, any new payment terminal that gets deployed has to accept contactless,” says Cowen. “This is giving us a universal footprint where people will be able to use their phones to pay for stuff in this way.”

“By 2020, every single terminal will accept contactless,” he adds.

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