MasterCard announced on Tuesday that it grew its European contactless footprint during 2013 to reach 34 countries, including seven new ones.
MasterCard, which boasts contactless availability in 63 nations worldwide, added Azerbaijan, Finland, Ireland, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and the Netherlands to its footprint in 2013.
Additionally, more than 220 financial institutions in Europe have now been issued MasterCard and Maestro contactless cards or devices that can be used at approximately 2 million merchant locations worldwide. The expansion represents a 180 percent year-on-year increase.
During the same time span, the number of contactless transactions across Europe more than tripled, while the volume spent on those transactions increased four times year-on-year.
“I am delighted to see Europeans continue to embrace contactless as innovative way to pay, when at home and abroad,” MasterCard Europe President Javier Perez said. “The figures we share today showcase how contactless payment has reached mass market adoption in several countries. As well as being loved by people across Europe, retailers are also seeing the benefit with some seeing well over 50 percent of card transactions tapped, making the shopping experience safer and simpler for all of us. The move to contactless is also helping us continue to drive the use of mobile payments and by the end of Q4 2013, we had 50 mobile NFC programs live in Europe – showing just how important payment innovation is for all of us in Europe.”