Contactless payments volume soars in Nordic region

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Contactless payment volume surged during the first four months of 2020 in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, accounting for about 70% of all transactions, according to new data from Copenhagen-based payments technology firm Nets.

In an area already renowned for minimal usage of cash, consumers in the Nordic region looking to minimize contact with payment terminals during coronavirus pandemic have pushed contactless payment adoption to some of the highest rates in the world, Nets said in a Wednesday press release.

Denmark ranks highest in the area, with 80% of all transactions taking place at contactless terminals, followed by Finland at 64%, Norway at 60% and Sweden with about 50% contactless transactions, Nets said in the release.

To encourage more consumers to use contactless payments, banks and card schemes in Norway and Sweden recently increased the minimum transaction amount allowed for a contactless payment without requiring a PIN (Denmark lifted its limit for PIN-less contactless payments two years ago). Finland’s limit for making a contactless payment without entering a PIN remains at €50 (US$54).

“The convenience of ‘tap and go’ contactless payments has always been popular in the Nordics, but we have never seen adoption rates increase like this,” Robert Hoffmann, Nets’ head of merchant services, said in the release.

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