Global contactless card transaction values to reach over $2T in 2021

Coronacrisis has significantly accelerated an existing contactless card usage trend


Global contactless card transaction values to reach over $2T in 2021. Source:

According to Juniper Research, global contactless card transaction values will reach $2.5 trillion in 2021, from $1.7 trillion in 2020.

This year, cards are retaining the majority share of overall contactless transaction values at 79%.

The combination of accelerated card issuance and usage during the pandemic with a series of global transaction limit increases have unlocked significant growth potential for contactless payments.

Along with that, the report identified that market growth has already been catalysed by increased contactless card use in previously underdeveloped markets like the US and Germany and that this shift will be permanent.

For instance, the US will see transaction value growth of 136% between 2020 and 2021, with major US retailers rolling out contactless acceptance and consumers enjoying the added convenience offered by touch-free card payments. Consequently, the US is expected to see further growth of almost 300% over the next 5 years.

Markets such as Germany have seen an unprecedented shift towards contactless cards in the past 18 months. This shift has severely diminished the role of cash and created significant opportunities for card issuers to gain market share
Susannah Hampton, research author 

Besides, recent pandemic-driven contactless transaction limit increases have provided opportunities for biometric payment cards to tap into the trend towards secure payments.

Although still niche, biometric cards are set to see more extensive pilot schemes and wider deployments. For instance, offering an increased value proposition and presenting a way for banks and issuers to provide an innovative offering and differentiate themselves from the competition.

We’ve reported that Starling Bank acquires buy-to-let specialist mortgage lender.


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