Contactless payments growth rate doubles in Nordic countries

The contactless payments growth rate in the Nordic region has doubled during the first four months of this year, regional payments processor Nets reports, “as social distancing steers Nordic consumers away from chip and PIN”.

Logo of Nets Nordic payment processpr for Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland

“In the first 16 weeks of 2019, contactless usage, as a proportion of all card transactions performed in Denmark, Norway and Sweden, increased by five percentage points from 40% to 45%.

“In stark contrast, the same period in 2020 saw contactless volumes increase at more than twice this rate, growing by 12 percentage points from 57% to 69%.”

“Widely renowned for using the least cash in the world, the Nordic countries have already consistently demonstrated one of the highest contactless adoption rates in the world,” Nets adds.

“In the period between weeks 11 and 16, however, as lockdown began across Denmark, Norway and Sweden, increases in adoption were notably acute.

“Denmark, which already displays the highest levels of contactless utilisation, rose from 80.8% in week 11 to 83.4% in week 16.

“Norway demonstrated a dramatic increase of 13.7 percentage points over the same period, from 45.6% to 59.3%. Sweden rose from 47.4% in week 11 to 50.2% in week 16.

“In Finland contactless payment adoption, as a proportion of all card payments, is 63.7%.”

The contactless transaction limit has been increased in both Norway and Sweden since the arrival of Covid-19.

“In Denmark the limit has been DKK 350 (US$50.65) for over two years,” Nets says. “The contactless limit set by EU law is €50 (US$53.98), which is honoured in Finland.”