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Contactless payments market share at POS in Europe 2018, by country

In which European countries can you pay contactless? This varies greatly per country. The market share of contactless payments (processed by MasterCard) reached 83 percent in Poland in 2018, whereas this penetration rate was only four percent in Belgium that year. On average, contactless transactions made up 48 percent of all payment transactions made at points of sale (POS) each month in Europe. These large differences stem from Europe having a lot of diversity when it comes to the use of payment methods. For this reason, there is not much comparative data across multiple European countries that covers all brands (MasterCard, Visa but also domestic brands like Bancontact in Belgium). Statista offers a dedicated research page which tries look more into the topic of digital payment methods in Europe.

Why are not all European countries in this list?

The 17 numbers provided in this ranking are from the same source but were collected from multiple news outlets. Some countries (Denmark, Croatia, Greece and Russia) only got a brief mention that contactless transactions were "above 50 percent". Other countries such as Sweden, Norway and Finland, however, were not published at all. Other data suggests, though, that these countries were already underway towards the cashless society. In Finland, 21 percent of respondents said they did not own a device with an NFC feature. Data from a domestic survey suggests that 54 percent of Swedish respondents “sometimes” would pay by contactless card, whereas 29 percent said they always used contactless cards in-store.

How much of this is done not by card but by something like Apple Pay?

Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay are forms of so-called e-wallets and are supported by PayPal, Alipay, Amazon Payments and national initiatives like Lyf Pay in France or Moneta in Poland. The European e-wallet landscape is fragmented, however, as corporations in Europe often did not offer e-wallets as a payment method in 2018. PayPal is still a popular e-wallet in Europe, however, as indicated by the company’s growing profit in the European region.

Share of contactless payment transactions at POS (points of sale) in selected countries in Europe in 2018

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Release date

November 2018



Survey time period

July 2018

Special properties

Numbers concern payments processed by MasterCard

Supplementary notes

The numbers provided are from the same source but were all mentioned in different media:

1) Czechia, Georgia, Poland, Hungary, Netherlands, France and Belgium were mentioned at;
2) Germany and Luxembourg were quoted at;
3) The UK was mentioned in a press release from MasterCard.
4) Romania saw a mention on and on
5) Bulgaria was quoted here.
6) Italy was mentioned on an Italian press release from MasterCard.
7) Switzerland was used as an example in a German article.
8) Spain was quoted on the Spanish website of Mastercard.
9) Austria was mentioned on
10) Portugal had an entry on this website.

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