Covid-19 boosted contactless payments in Belgium, survey shows

Covid-19 boosted contactless payments in Belgium, survey shows
Credit: Belga

The number of people who use contactless payments has more than doubled compared to a year ago, according to Bancontact Payconiq Company.

The company carried out an online survey of 1,000 people, 72% of whom had paid contactless with their bank card or smartphone at least once, representing a 123% increase compared to the previous year, when around 32% had used contactless payments..

The rise is at least partially due to the Covid-19 pandemic, as contactless payment has been promoted as a hygienic way of paying.

Currently, more than four in ten respondents (43%) say they pay contactless and without a PIN code with their bank card at least once a week. In 2017, this figure was 3%.

This increase is explained by the hygienic aspect, and by the fact that the limit for this type of payment was increased from €25 to €50 in April as part of the effort to curb the spread of the virus.

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"Becoming familiar with new payment methods takes time, but the coronavirus crisis has clearly accelerated things," said Bancontact Payconiq Company CEO Nathalie Vandepeute. More than four Belgians out of 10 (43%) say they only really started to pay contactless when the health crisis began in March.

Confidence in this payment method has grown from 37% last year to 59% now. More than half (52%) believe that mobile or contactless payments are now as secure as traditional methods.

At the same time, six out of ten respondents (59%) still believe that a PIN code should always be mandatory for non-cash transactions, compared to 74% a year ago.

Cash payments, on the other hand, are inexorably losing ground. While 57% of Belgians still pay with cash at least once a week, this figure was still 74% in 2019 (-23%). The coronavirus crisis is not unrelated to this phenomenon either, since payment in cash involves the physical transfer of notes and coins.

Finally, 46% of those surveyed believe that cash will no longer exist in 10 years' time. In 2019, only 32% were convinced of this.

The Brussels Times

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