Contactless payment is THE trend in 2018
- Worldline recorded more than 4 million contactless transactions in October 2018 – seven times more than during the same period last year;
- Contactless payment is particularly popular for small amounts: 10% of all transactions up to €5 by Bancontact in October 2018 were contactless;
- Belgian retailers are encouraging consumers to pay for their Christmas and year-end purchases in the store contactless as of today.
Brussels – 6 December 2018. Contactless payment is THE trend in 2018. This is the conclusion reached by Worldline, [Euronext: WLN], the European leader in payment and transaction services, based on electronic transaction figures – and not unduly, because the number of contactless payments has gone up sevenfold in a year’s time. In October 2017, Belgians ticked their smartphones or Bancontact bank card nearly 600,000 times against a payment terminal. In October 2018, more than 4 million such transactions were conducted. With the year-end period in sight, Worldline is, together with the leading payment schemes, encouraging consumers to pay for their Christmas shopping contactless. It is safe, fast and easy.
Last year, Worldline processed more than 2 billion electronic transactions – an absolute record. “We have exceeded that figure already, and the peak around Christmas is yet to come,” explains Vincent Roland, CEO Worldline Belgium.
Contactless payment particular popular for small amounts
Electronic payments continue to increase particularly because Belgians are paying electronically with increasing frequency, particularly for small purchases. At the baker, a café or at the news agent’s, consumers nowadays prefer to pay with a card or with the smartphone. The figures speak for themselves. The number of electronic payments in retail for up to €5 is already up by 42% this year - another absolute record. “We are moving towards a cashless society where consumers pay with a card or their smartphone for just any amount,” Vincent Roland says.
The fact that consumers are paying electronically for small amounts with increasing frequency is in turn fuelling the advancement of contactless technology. In October 2018, 10% of all Bancontact transactions for amounts up to €5 were contactless. Credit cards also score high. Visa and Mastercard recorded 8% contactless payments each. “We noted that the advancement of contactless payments has been the strongest in a number of specific sectors: hotel and catering, food stores, retail, the leisure sector and hospitals. Together, these sectors account for 90% of contactless payments in October 2018. Nearly 10% of all electronic payments in the hotel and catering sector are already contactless,” is the word at Worldline.
How can you pay contactless?
There are already more than 7 million contactless Bancontact cards in circulation in our country (nearly half of all cards) – a figure that is growing by the day. Your payment card can be used for contactless payments if the symbol with 4 waves appears on it. “All payment terminals we sell today are equipped with contactless technology. 90% of retailers can in principle accept all contactless payments,” says Vincent Roland. “In addition, there are several apps that can be used to make contactless payments with a smartphone, such as the Belfius or Bancontact app.” All the consumer has to do to pay is tick his card or smartphone against the payment terminal. There is no need to enter a pin code for amounts under €25.
“Contactless payment with Bancontact is the most visible innovation in the retail sector in the last months of 2018. More and more people have a contactless payment card and use this fast, simple and safe payment method. Our aim is to continue to introduce and stimulate such innovations,” says Nathalie Vandepeute, CEO of Bancontact Payconiq Company.
Campaign to stimulate electronic and contactless payment
Together with the most important payment schemes, Worldline is today launching a campaign among 50,000 retailers to stimulate electronic payments. “With this campaign, the shopkeeper thanks his clients for paying contactless. If everyone pays for his or her year-end purchases contactless, the shopkeeper can reduce the queues at the checkout counters substantially,” says Vincent Roland.
“We are excited to be working with Worldline to develop the usage of contactless payments in Belgium. At Visa, we want to accelerate the adoption of contactless payments globally to continue to make digital payments faster, simpler and more secure. To do this, we work closely with our technology partners, financial institutions, retailers and emerging players to keep innovating and meet the needs and expectations of consumers”, says Jean-Marie de Crayencour, Country Manager BeLux, Visa.
“UnionPay supports the campaign initiated by Worldline so non-European consumers can pay both electronically as well as contactless in Belgian and European stores. We will continue to extend our innovative payment solutions such as UnionPay contactless payment Quickpass to Europe in order to meet the diverse needs of the consumers”, says Yang Shengliang, Deputy general manager of UnionPay International Europe.
“We recognize the exciting growth opportunity for electronic and contactless payments in Belgium,” says Amy Parsons, Senior Vice President of Global Acceptance at Discover®. “We are glad to be part of Worldline’s effort to help educate Belgian merchants and consumers about the benefits of emerging payment options.”
 Figures up to 31 October 2018
 Based on Worldline figures.