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ATMs and POS in Europe - statistics & facts

A Point of Sale (POS) terminal, also referred to as a payment terminal, is a device that processes debit and credit card transactions for merchants and businesses. Whilst older models use either a telephone line or ethernet cable to connect the device, the majority of newer models now use either a mobile network, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to allow card payments to make electronic fund transfers. To ensure a secure payment, POS terminals use a PINpad for consumers to enter their PIN number, with many models now allowing contactless payments for smaller purchases.

With the number of card payments made at Point of Sale terminals almost doubling between 2010 and 2018 in the European Union, the growth in terminals has accelerated during recent years. In terms of transactions, the United Kingdom (UK) and France see far more POS exchanges than any other country in Europe. The value of card payments via POS terminals, which reached almost 2.5 trillion euros in the EU during 2018, has been forecast to continue to grow across Europe as consumers move away from a cash driven society.

The expansion of payment methods has meant that modern POS terminals accept payments ranging from debit and credit cards to smartwatches, digital payment apps and mobile wallets. In the United Kingdom (UK), payments using a card are still the most popular method. It has been forecast that the value of POS transactions will continue to rise across Europe in the coming years.

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European ATM and POS market

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Transaction values

Number of terminals

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