More and more people in Belgium have been opting for contact-free payments due to the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Since January, the percentage of no-contact payments has almost tripled. From 5% in January 2019, and 13% in January of this year, they now represent 37% of all electronic transactions, Worldline reported on Friday.
Between January and September, 262 million Bancontact payments were made, a 216% increase on the corresponding period of last year. This mode of payment is considered more hygienic in this pandemic period since purchasers simply need to place their cards or smartphones a few centimetres from the terminal in order to pay.
Since 14 April, Belgian consumers are only required to enter a PIN code if their purchases add up to more than 50 euros. Since then, the number of no-contact payments for amounts between 25 and 50 euros has gone from 9% to 26%.
“The crisis has greatly speeded up a movement that had already begun,” said Eric Spapens, director of Partnerships and Public Affairs Merchant Services at Worldline. For both merchants and customers, the benefits of contact-free payments (fast, simple and safe) have been increased by their health benefits, he explained.
According to Spapens, over 50% of transactions in Europe are already contact-free, and a similar rate of adoption can be expected in Belgium by the end of the year.