Your Friday fix for global fintech and payments news
For the first time in the UK’s history, card payments accounted for over half of all payments. This milestone, reached in 2019, has been on the cards for a while due to the shift in consumer behaviours as they become more comfortable with digital banking and electronic payments, and merchant acceptance. In other news, the US reaches over 1 billion EMV chip cards issued in the country and a new study reveals the top 10 cashless countries in Europe.
Our weekly round-up brings you a dose of some of the biggest news announcements from the past seven days so you can keep an eye on all that’s shaping our world this week.
- Cards make up over half of UK payments for first time
- US market hits 1 billion EMV chip cards milestone
- Europe’s top 10 cashless countries
According to UK Finance, card payments accounted for over half (51%) of all UK payments for the first time in 2019. UK Payment Markets report revealed that debit cards were the most popular payment method in the UK, accounting for 17 billion payments. Credit cards also role, up by 7% accounting for 3.3 billion payments, driven in part due to the increase of contactless credit cards issued in 2019. Unsurprisingly, contactless payments rose by the greatest margin (as they account for both debit and credit cards), increasing by 16% from the previous year, to 8.6 billion. Cash payments, however, have continued to decline, falling by 15% to 9.3 billion payments.
Stephen Jones, Chief Executive of UK Finance, said: “An increase in ways to pay coupled with the change in people’s payment habits may have inadvertently gone some way to prepare the nation for the impact of the pandemic on their daily lives. With consumers already using contactless payments and remote banking more than in previous years, these technological advances have allowed many people to shop and make payments safely from home or in store.”
The US cards market has reached a new milestone this week as 1 billion EMV chip cards have been issued since their inception. EMVCo, the governing body that manages EMV card interoperability, released its December 31, 2019 statistics which revealed that the US had 1.074 billion EMV chip-enabled credit, debit and prepaid cards deployed. This puts the US behind the Asia-Pacific region as having the second most EMV chip cards deployed, with Asia-Pacific leading the world with 6.226 billion cards deployed at the end of 2019.
A new study has revealed the top 10 cashless countries in Europe. The study highlighted the countries in particular where citizens are most likely to go completely cashless, and who uses contactless payments the most.
The study, from Merchant Machine, revealed that the Netherlands is ranked as the most cash free country in Europe – with more than half of the country’s payments contactless and the highest debit card ownership at 99%. Despite these statistics, only 23% of Dutch citizens would go without cash completely. Other countries that ranked in the top 10 were Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary.