Visa predicts 500 million UK contactless payments in the next year

  • More than 50 million Visa contactless cards in UK consumers’ hands by the end of 2015
  • TfL becomes world’s first transit network to accept Visa contactless cards on multiple forms of transport

London, 16 September 2014 - Visa Europe predicts that, with the launch of contactless journeys on Transport for London’s (TfL) travel network and the introduction of mobile contactless services, Brits will make 500 million contactless payments between now and December 2015.

Transport for London customers can now use their contactless Visa cards to pay for journeys on all Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground and National Rail services that accept Oyster. These services join London Buses, which have accepted Visa contactless journeys since December 2012.

Sandra Alzetta, Executive Director, Visa Europe, says: “The rollout out of Visa contactless across the TfL network is a landmark moment for this easy and convenient way to pay and we’re delighted to have played such a key role in its design and implementation. From today, TfL accepts the 40 million Visa contactless cards already active in the UK and it’s our intention that any customer with a Visa-enabled mobile device will also be able to use it to travel on the TfL network.”

The use of Visa contactless in the UK has continued to gain pace in the last year as consumers become more familiar with the benefits of this easy and convenient way to pay. From June 2013 to 2014, growth in Visa contactless use more than doubled, reaching a total value of almost £140 million. 

Alzetta adds: “We’ve seen an incredible response to the launch of contactless payments on London Buses with nearly 19 million Visa contactless journeys made since it launched in 2012. Today’s launch by TfL will be another major boost to contactless usage leading to the three-fold increase we expect in the next year.”

Transport for London’s contactless launch is the latest sign of increasing demand for digital payments. Visa is seeing growing usage, demand and interest in digital payments across Europe. In Poland, contactless Visa payments have been available on Warsaw and Wroclaw public transport since 2012 and there are numerous projects currently underway in other cities across the country, and beyond.

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About Visa Europe

Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 37 countries across Europe.

Visa Europe works at the forefront of technology to create the services and infrastructure which enable millions of European consumers, businesses and governments to make electronic payments. Its members are responsible for issuing cards, signing up retailers and deciding cardholder and retailer fees.

Visa Europe operates a high volume, low cost business model that provides services to its members. Its surplus is reinvested into the business and used to improve capital and reserves.

There are 500m Visa cards in Europe, while €1 in every €6.50 spent in Europe is on a Visa card. In the year to September 2013, total expenditure on Visa cards reached €2 trillion, while point-of-sale spend increased by 8.5% to €1.4 trillion. Annual online spending on Visa cards continues to grow (20% year-on-year) and now stands at €240bn.

Since 2004, Visa Europe has been independent of Visa Inc. and incorporated in the UK, with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe. Both companies work in partnership to enable global Visa payments. As a dedicated European payment system Visa Europe is able to respond quickly to the specific market needs of European banks and their customers - cardholders and retailers - and to meet the European Commission’s objective to create a true internal market for payments.

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