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Europe embraces contactless POS payments, with digital wallets and debit cards leading the way. Over 60% of card payment transactions at POS were contactless, in 2022.

28 august 2023

Digital wallets and other contactless point-of-sale (POS) payment methods are gaining popularity as cash usage declines

Consumers worldwide are gradually returning to in-store purchases but continue to prefer digital payment options when paying offline. As of April 2022, 52% of consumers chose to pay less with cash, and 36% opted for contactless payment methods.

„To meet this changing demand, sellers and merchants are shifting away from traditional POS systems and embracing advanced technologies like smart POS, soft POS, and mPOS. Among these options, debit cards have emerged as the preferred POS payment method, with more than half of merchants considering them essential due to their security benefits and convenience.” according to The „Europe POS Payment Methods 2023” report developed by ResearchAndMarkets.com.

Europe witnesses a significant growth in the usage of contactless credit and debit cards

In Europe, although cash remains dominant, there has been significant growth in the usage of contactless credit and debit cards. In 2022, over 60% of card payment transactions at POS were contactless. Leading the way in this trend are countries like Finland, Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg, where the share of card payments at POS is notably high.

While cash is still preferred by 59% of surveyed respondents for in-store transactions in Europe as of June 2022, alternative POS payment methods like QR code payments, digital wallets, and payments via loyalty programs are gaining traction. For instance, Klarna’s new loyalty card feature allows users to store their loyalty cards digitally in their app, streamlining the payment process and enhancing the customer experience.

In the UK, debit cards and cash are the top two most used POS payment methods as of April 2022, with almost half of shoppers preferring to pay with cash. However, proximity mobile payments in the UK are expected to see significant growth, with an estimated 16 million proximity mobile payment users projected by 2026.

Germany has also experienced significant growth in contactless physical card usage at POS, accounting for almost three quarters of all card payment transactions as of 2022. The Giro card dominates the POS payment landscape, representing 42% of all card payments used at POS, followed by credit cards at 6%.

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Anders Olofsson – former Head of Payments Finastra

Banking 4.0 – „how was the experience for you”

So many people are coming here to Bucharest, people that I see and interact on linkedin and now I get the change to meet them in person. It was like being to the Football World Cup but this was the World Cup on linkedin in payments and open banking.”

Many more interesting quotes in the video below:


In 23 septembrie 2019, BNR a anuntat infiintarea unui Fintech Innovation Hub pentru a sustine inovatia in domeniul serviciilor financiare si de plata. In acest sens, care credeti ca ar trebui sa fie urmatorul pas al bancii centrale?