The use of contactless payment in Spain increased by 45%, according to a study conducted by GFK for the multinational corporation, Visa.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, many had to change how they did their shopping. Using cash or credit cards often meant that they had to stay longer in the establishment when paying. At the same time, this increased the probability of coming into close physical contact with others. These habits had to be forgone in order to decrease their exposure to the COVID-19 virus. As such, many have turned to online shopping for their needs and wants. Alongside this shift was the increased preference for contactless payment in Spain.
In the same study by GFK, 45% of the respondents have turned their back on paying with cash ever since the COVID-19 pandemic started. However, 16% still use traditional payment methods. They prefer to pay for their purchases in the way that they are used to.
These were consistent with the results of other studies conducted for various companies. In a study for Mastercard, 75% of the respondents plan to use contactless payment methods even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Convenience and hygiene are the most common reasons for doing so. 83% of establishments also accept mobile or contactless payment in Spain, making them more accessible for customers.
A report published by Minsait Payments showed a similar trend. Nine out of ten respondents preferred to use contactless payment methods. However, it was also found that respondents did not adopt contactless payment methods for all of their purchases. 45% of the respondents paid cash when buying from small and medium enterprises. Other industries experienced more usage of contactless payment in Spain by their consumers. This is because only 36% of respondents used cash to pay in bars and restaurants and 31% on public transportation.
Contactless Payment in Spain Will Continue to Gain Popularity
Contactless payment in Spain will attract more users in the next four years.
By 2026, it is estimated that there will be as many as 31 million users of mobile contactless payment in Spain. Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay are expected to be the most used platforms. The aforementioned digital wallets and online payment systems will take up 93% of the total number of users.
How Does Contactless Payment Work?
Contactless payment involves the use of a contactless card, smartphone, or wearable device to make payments. Consumers just need to tap or hold any of the aforementioned technologies over a payment terminal that can read them. The terminal instantly connects to one’s personal bank account and, once successful, the purchase is complete. Because of this, consumers do not need to worry about bringing cash or a credit card when going out to purchase goods.
When one has many contactless cards in one wallet, it is best to remove the specific card to be used and hover it directly over the payment terminal. This will prevent any failure of transactions since the card reader will only be presented with one device. At the same time, buyers are more assured that the purchase will be credited to the correct contactless card.
The Technology Behind Contactless Payment
A short-range wireless technology is utilized by the contactless mode of payment. It can only read devices that are at least one millimeter or a maximum of two inches away from the terminal. As such, individuals who plan to make use of contactless payment should not distance themselves too far from the reader. But, once tapped on the terminal, the process will not take more than a minute. It usually just takes one or two seconds for the purchase to be completed.
More often than not, contactless payments make use of radio frequency identification (RFID) or near-field communication (NFC) technologies. These are used to facilitate communication between the payment reader of the establishment and the device of the buyer.
Security of Contactless Payment
Some contactless payment cards have a feature wherein buyers need to enter their PIN to make purchases that reach a certain amount. Other than that, a one-time code is also generated for every transaction done using the contactless payment card. The one-time code is transmitted together with the buyer’s account number. However, the name, billing address, and verification code of the card are not passed on. Since the code changes all the time, it would be difficult for the owner’s information to be accessed by someone else.
In comparison, the use of a credit card that utilizes magnetic stripe technology requires the transmission of both payment and personal information. Skimming devices can gather this data so that hackers can make use of it for their unauthorized purchases.
Furthermore, there are also wallets that have RFID protection features. These are meant to block any radio frequencies between the contactless card and the reader. They would give individuals an added level of security, but they are not necessary since the risk of fraud through this method is minimal to none. It would be better to enhance one’s security through other means.
Individuals who own contactless cards need to be careful not to lose them. Many of these cards do not require a PIN or the owner’s signature to conduct the transaction. Because of this, just having the contactless card would be enough to make a purchase, even if the buyer is not the owner of the card.
Apart from that, individuals should review their credit reports frequently so that they can identify any transactions that seem out of place. Strong passwords should be used for personal accounts so that they will not be easily guessed by anyone else.
What are the Advantages of Using Contactless Payment?
Using contactless payment is fast, safe, and convenient.
Making a purchase just requires hovering the contactless card on the terminal for a few seconds. This makes it faster than paying with a credit card or cash since buyers don’t need to swipe or dig through their bags.
The use of contactless payment is also beneficial given the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals do not need to touch anything when buying. At the same time, they can easily head out of the establishment since paying won’t take too long.
A contactless card will also last much longer than magnetic strips or EMV chips. Since they do not need to come into contact with payment terminals, contactless cards are subject to less friction that can wear them out.
More and more establishments are also accepting contactless payments. Because of this, having a contactless card will enable buyers to shop anywhere they may be, even as they travel outside their home country.