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Contactless payment market share during COVID-19 in the Netherlands 2020

Contactless payments in the Netherlands grew drastically during the coronavirus pandemic. In the space of four to five months, the market share of contactless card payments reached 70 percent in the country, even though the Netherlands ranked as one of Europe’s leading countries in contactless payments before COVID-19. This increase might be attributed to certain age groups having to use contactless payments more often, as there were big differences across generations regarding preferred payment methods in 2019.

The Netherlands: a house of (debit) cards

The market share provided here concerns contactless payments performed with a debit card. The number of debit cards in the Netherlands outweighs that of credit cards, reaching nearly 28 million debit cards on a population of 17 million in 2019. Debit cards are popular in the country because Dutch banks and retailers pushed the use of debit cards together for years. They aimed that 60 percent of all POS transactions of Dutch consumers to be done via debit card at the end of 2018. This target was reached ahead of time as the share of debit card payments in Dutch POS transactions developed at a faster rate than anticipated.

Watch out for wearable payments in the Netherlands

In 2019, the Netherlands accounted for one third of all wearable transactions (payments via smartwatches, rings or jewelry) processed in Europe. Dutch banks increasingly offer options to pay with wearable devices, making the Netherlands one of the European frontrunners in this type of digital payment. Figures on contactless payments done with a smartphone or so-called “proximity mobile payments” are rare, however, for the Netherlands. Google Pay is not available, with Apple Pay arriving only in 2019 and no information being made available on how many people use it. If Dutch consumers use their smartphone for digital wallets, it tends to be for customer loyalty cards. An app that stores loyalty cards onto a customers' smartphone in a digital wallet but also shows discounts of selected retailers called Stocard, for example, had over three million users in the Netherlands in 2020.

Share of contactless payment transactions at POS (points of sale) in the Netherlands during the coronavirus pandemic in 2020

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Release date

September 2020



Survey time period

January, 2020 to June, 2020

Special properties

Concerns the number of card-based contactless payments, the source explicitly states the numbers only include cards and not mobile payments.

Supplementary notes

* The source mentions the numbers for May and June are "raw" and therefore provisional.

The contactless card payment limit in the Netherlands was raised to 50 euros in April 2020.

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