You'll be able to use contactless payments anywhere from 2020

You'll be able to use contactless payments anywhere from 2020

Mastercard has said it expects every payment terminal in Europe will accept contactless payments by 2020.

Speaking at Mastercard's 'Future of Payments' event in London, Mike Cowen, Head of Emerging Payments Products UK&I, explained how the firm is working towards complete contactless acceptance.

The payment giant is laying down the law, demanding all new payment terminals rolled out from 2016 must support contactless transactions.

By 2018 it's thought there will be 1 billion payment points supporting NFC contactless transactions in Europe, allowing us to tap a phone or bank card to pay for goods, leading to a total adoption of the tech by 2020.

Uncapping the cap

Currently in the UK you can only pay via contactless for transactions of £20 or less. The cap is being raised to £30 this September, but in other countries it is already quite a bit higher.

With the increased presence of mobile payments however, there's scope to go beyond the cap with a level of authentication.

For example, if you're paying for your weekly shop the likelihood is that you've gone over the contactless transaction cap, but just tap your phone and supply your fingerprint to the reader on the handset and your payment can go through. No need to fumble around for your card and bash in your pin.

As for when we may see the unauthenticated cap rise again, it's difficult to say. "The cap is managed at an industry level," said Johan Lindstrom, Head of Digital Commerce, MasterCard Europe. "Lots of people have a say in it.

"There's pressure upwards from consumers who want more transactions to be made using contactless, but there's also pressure downwards from fraud teams want to reduce risk."

Mastercard said it was setup for Android Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay, so as soon as the services are switched on in Europe you'll be able to pay with your phone.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.