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Tuesday, 13 May 2014 12:09

Contactless payment card use growing

Written by Nick Farrell



Over a third of smartcards

Shipments of contactless payment cards accelerated globally in 2013, according to beancounters at the Smart Payment Association (SPA). In its annual review of the smart payment card market, the SPA reports that contactless technologies were present on over one-third of all smart payment cards shipped in 2013.

By far the greatest increase was experienced in the Asia Pacific region, where contactless shipments grew by a staggering 193 percent compared to 2012. Other regions around the globe experienced strong growth rates, ranging from 45 percent in the Americas to 64 percent in Western Europe. Whether in the form of a ‘tap-and-go’ credit or debit card or contactless payments via a smartphone, growing consumer and retailer hunger for the convenience and opportunities presented by contactless payment accounts for this rapid growth.

In 2013 more than 450 million contactless cards were delivered by SPA members in over 30 countries worldwide. Shipments of dual interface cards, incorporating both chip and PIN and contactless technologies, grew by 115 percent in 2013, largely driven by growth in Asia and Europe. As a result, dual interface cards now represent 94 percent of all contactless shipments. More than 1.5 billion cards were shipped last year, with the highest increased once again recorded in the Asia Pacific region which is up 75 percent driven largely by China’s migration to chip based payments and the initiation of EMV in India.

In EMEA there was a growth of 12 percent was in part driven by SEPA rules which enforce chip and PIN and the growth of EMV in Russia. A substantial 37 percent growth in North America reflects the completion to EMV by Canada and the escalating migration to EMV currently underway in the USA. The majority of dual interface cards are now using DDA technology, with significant growth being seen in mature and rapidly maturing markets. 

Sylvie Gibert, president of the Smart Payment Association said that the data reveals that there is a growing hunger by consumers for the convenience and immediacy of contactless payment, and issuers are responding with innovative payment options, including those with transit features that put them ‘top of wallet.’

Nick Farrell

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