Mobile wallet revolution: Contactless terminals to reach 100pc by 2020

19 Oct 201649 Shares

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European consumers are adopting mobile payments faster than even they themselves anticipated, according to Visa Europe research. Image: LDprod/Shutterstock

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More than three-quarters of Irish consumers now manage their money or make payments using a mobile device, according to research from Visa Europe.

We are now at a point where the vast majority of merchants in Ireland can accept contactless payments and this will reach 100pc by 2020, said Philip Konopik, Visa country manager for Ireland.

Konopik was responding to questions in relation to a new survey, which found that currently, 54pc of European consumers regularly use a mobile device to make payments.

This has tripled from 18pc just a year ago.

‘Visa sees smartphones and wearables as the beginning of a broader trend, with millions of new connected devices making it simple, safe and secure to integrate daily commerce transactions into almost any technology’
– PHILIP KONOPIK

The study of more than 36,000 online consumers in 19 European countries found that one year ago, 38pc of the people surveyed said they had never used a mobile device to make payments and had no plans to do so.

Today, that number has dropped to 12pc.

Users comfortable making expensive mobile wallet purchases

Ireland joins the top 10 countries with the highest proportion of mobile payments users, even though mobile wallet services like Apple Pay have yet to be rolled out in Ireland.

The biggest user of mobile payments in Europe is Turkey, with 91pc of consumers now using some form of mobile payment, followed by Denmark (89pc), Norway (87pc) and Israel (87pc). Ireland is not far behind in eighth place at 78pc, just ahead of Finland (77pc).

Mobile payments users also say that they are as comfortable making more expensive purchases on mobile devices as they are with everyday payments.

In Ireland, more than a third (34pc) purchase high-value items such as holidays and electronics on a mobile device, as well as regular transactions such as paying for household bills (38pc) and parking (20pc).

The research also shows that mobile banking activity is increasing across all age groups. For the first time, more than half of European respondents in all age brackets are using mobile banking. Whilst millennials remain the most prolific category, other age groups are rapidly catching up. With a growth rate of 33pc, the highest growth rate is the 55-64 year olds, while millennials aged 18-34 have a growth rate of 24pc.

“This data is a confirmation that the future of digital payments has arrived, with consumers across the length and breadth of Ireland and Europe embracing a variety of new ways to pay,” Konopik said.

“Visa sees smartphones and wearables as the beginning of a broader trend, with millions of new connected devices making it simple, safe and secure to integrate daily commerce transactions into almost any technology.

“In Europe, we’ve recently seen Apple Pay launched in the UK, France and Switzerland. Samsung Pay has launched in Spain, and Android Pay in the UK. We’ve also seen a new era of wearable payments: smartwatches, wristbands and even clothing.

“It’s clear that this trend will continue to accelerate, enabling consumers to choose the connected device that fits with their lifestyle,” Konopik added.

Mobile wallets on the rise in Ireland (infographic)

Mobile wallets are on the rise in Ireland according to Visa

Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com