Forecast for the development of contactless payments until 2020

According to the analysts from Juniper Research and their latest research of contactless payments, the share of contactless payments in payments will exceed $2 trillion by 2020. This includes both payments by cards with PayPass and PayWave technologies, and mobile wallets, which is, by the way, 15% of the total turnover in retail. Contactless payments will exceed the $1 trillion mark in 2018 (almost at the same time with $1 trillion Apple’s capitalization — a coincidence?) — analysts assumed that this will happen not earlier than mid-2019.

What do we know about contactless payments in Ukraine? First of all, most of the bank cards are issued by Privatbank, based on the international payment system Mastercard. According to the latest statistics of the NBU, the number of contactless cards has increased by 37.8% — up to 2.7 million units over the past year. This is especially true for Kiev — metro travel, high-quality coverage with POS-terminals with PayPass / PayWave payment option, numerous festivals with cashless-only zones, etc. Do not forget about the release of Apple Pay in Ukraine. We are absolutely in trend with the EU countries, and sometimes even ahead. However, contactless payment cards are even more common among Asian customers in the countries of the Asia-Pacific region — almost 55% of global contactless transactions.

When it comes to mobile wallets in Ukraine (not including Apple Pay / Google Pay), the situation is pretty sad — all the serious players from Russia are under the sanctions of the regulator, as a result, Ukrainian users had to switch to banks or stay in a very uncomfortable and unprofitable position. And for now, there is no a mobile wallet with the possibility of NFC-payments in Ukraine. The key word here is “for now” — after all, when one market participant sees the trend, it does not mean that the others do not.

Since the Ukrainian payment market is getting gradually globalized, let’s come back to the global trends. Analysts mostly agree that the mobile contactless payment market will be controlled by Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay. The total number of their users will exceed 450 million by 2020, while Apple’s part will be 50% of this number.

This makes us think about where these payments will be applied. The first thing to consider is the expansion of those niches where PayPass is already strong — for example, in small “fast” transactions. Again, let’s come back to the Kiev Metro with its contactless payments. The practice of paying with a contactless card in a public transport is growing every month. In Kiev, with its gigantic route system and the unwillingness of certain officials to change anything, it will not come at once — but it will come. Fast and convenient payments on a transparent scheme and with adequate tariffs, are a big interest of residents of the metropolis.

Among the other industries, I see an ever-increasing use of contactless payments in supermarkets (it is not there yet), cafes, restaurants — up to the full coverage of large shopping centers with cashless-zones. As these are the epicenters of user spendings for anything. First, the cards, then the smartphones and the rest of the smart gadgets.

CEO of the international payment system LEO, the shareholder of IBOX Bank

CEO of the international payment system LEO, the shareholder of IBOX Bank