MasterCard: All European Retailers to Accept Contactless Payments by 2020

MasterCard predicts that all retailers across Europe will accept contactless payments by 2020, paving the way for wider adoption of mobile payment solutions.

Mike Cowan, the company’s head of emerging payments products at MasterCard, told the audience at its Future of Payments event in London that Europeans will soon be able to tap to pay anywhere.

“From the beginning of 2016 any new payment terminal that gets deployed must accept contactless, and every single terminal must accept it by 2020,” Cowan said.

This means that new point of sale (PoS) terminals must adhere to the new standard on deployment from January 1 2016, while existing terminals that don’t yet support contactless payments must be replaced by the start of 2020.

The infrastructure will also support near field communication (NFC)-based mobile payments, and MasterCard said that Apple Pay and Android Pay will be supported at thousands of European shops when they become available outside the US.

“There’s good news from the mobile payments perspective, as contactless has been paving the way for the past eight years, with this infrastructure enabling mobile NFC payments at a global scale,” Cowan said.

“This means that Apple Pay can be used at any contactless terminal when it comes to the UK.”

MasterCard admits that mobile payments have still to gain mass acceptance, but believes Apple and Google could be the catalysts to trigger growth.

“We used to think that everyone is only going to be using mobile phones for payments,” said Johan Lindstrom, head of digital commerce at MasterCard Europe. “We’ve been saying that for the past 10 years.” However, he expects 2015 is going to be a watershed year in which mobile payments take off.

“If consumers find experiences that make their lives better, and merchants can offer experiences that help them sell more at the end of the day, that’s when it’s really interesting and really powerful, and that’s what this technology is making possible,” Lindstrom added.

“Digital devices, like a mobile phone, allow a completely different type of interaction between buyer and merchant. It changes how consumers feel about the whole shopping experience.”


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