The number of European consumers regularly using a mobile device – whether smartphone, tablet or wearable – to make payments has tripled in the past year. Douglas Blakey comments

But according to research from Visa – the survey covered more than 36,000 online consumers in 19 European countries – the UK is punching below its weight and is not even in the top 10 markets for mobile payments use.

In the UK, nearly three-quarters (74%) of the people surveyed are mobile payments users, compared with the leading markets: Turkey (91%), Denmark (89%) Norway and Israel both at 87% and Sweden (86%).

Poland and Romania (both 79%), Ireland (78%), Finland (77%) and Belgium (75%) round off the top 10.

The study highlights how consumer adoption of digital payments across Europe has shifted dramatically in the last 12 months. One year ago, 38% of people surveyed said they had never used a mobile device to make payments and had no plans to do so. Today, that number has dropped to 12%.

There is a clear correlation with contactless as the increase in engagement with digital payments coincides with greater adoption of contactless technology. According to Visa, the research indicates that, across all age groups, contactless payments are now the norm. In the UK, more than half the people surveyed (58%) used contactless cards this year, up from 20% in 2015.

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Europe-wide, contactless users are also consistently more open to embracing newer payment methods than those who don’t use contactless cards. The study highlights that contactless card users are more interested in using a mobile device as a payment method in a shop (52% contactless card user vs 32% non-contactless card user), shopping via a retailer app (49% vs 31%) or using a mobile device to pay for a meal (50% vs 30%).