Contactless card transaction values to reach $2.5tn in 2021

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A new report from Juniper Research has found that global contactless card transaction values will reach $2.5tn in 2021, from $1.7tn in 2020, with cards retaining the majority share of overall contactless transaction values at 79% in 2021.

The pandemic has significantly accelerated an existing contactless card usage trend, and these value increases will be sustained beyond 2021 and into the future.

The new research, Contactless Payments: Trends, Opportunities and Market Forecasts 2021-2026, found that 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, fundamentally changing the payments paradigm.

Significant Growth in Previously Underdeveloped Markets

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

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 anticipated to see further growth of almost 300% over the next five years.

Research author Susannah Hampton added: “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.”

The Opportunity for Biometric Cards

The research identified that recent pandemic-driven contactless transaction limit increases have provided opportunities for biometric payment cards to tap into the trend towards secure, convenient, and hygienic payments.

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

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