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article imageContactless payments to be accepted in 'every' EU store by 2020

By James Walker     Jun 4, 2015 in Technology
Mastercard's head of emerging payment products has said that contactless payments with cards and phones will be accepted at every store in the UK and Europe before 2020, sparking a debate on whether this will actually be possible.
TechRadar reports Mastercard's Mike Cowan made the bold claim at the company's "Future of Payments" event in London. The payments firm believes contactless payments will be available at every store in the UK and Europe before 2020 and that there will be 1 billion supporting payment terminals within the next three years.
The company is working towards a world dominated by contactless payments and will ensure that all new payment points installed from next year will support NFC transactions. Pocket-Lint reports that Mastercard is also keen to work with Google's Android Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay when the respective services arrive in Europe.
In order to facilitate this, the current cap on the amount that can be paid wirelessly will be upped in the coming years. It currently stands at £20 in the UK but will be increased to £30 from September.
This is still significantly less than what many consumers will end up paying in a clothes store or supermarket though. Efforts to raise the limit have been contested by widespread security concerns as a thief who stole a contactless card with no need for a PIN could clearly devastate a bank account if the limit was set too high.
TechRadar reports that Mastercard's Head of Digital Commerce, Johan Lindstrom, addressed the concerns, saying: "The cap is managed at an industry level. 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 who want to reduce risk."
It has been suggested that contactless payments of larger values could be secured by a fingerprint in the future. This would allow users to pay more securely whilst keeping NFC transactions as quick and simple as they are now.
Mastercard's plans seem ambitious and it remains to be seen whether every EU store really will be accepting contactless payments by 2020. The technology has proved popular with consumers though as the benefits of being able to grab a drink or newspaper without fumbling about for cash or entering a PIN are clearly appealing but currently there are still relatively few stores that are equipped with NFC terminals.
More about NFC, Payment, Cashless, contactless, Pay