More than eight in ten payment terminals worldwide now accept contactless payments (82%) as the number of outlets accepting card payments globally grew by 2% in 2021 to reach 88m and the number of eftpos terminals increased by 5% to reach 134m, according to research from RBR.
The firm’s ‘Global Payment Cards Data and Forecasts to 2027’ report identifies the Covid-19 pandemic together with government mandates and incentives such as tax breaks as key drivers for this growth, and predicts that the number of eftpos terminals will continue to rise, reaching a global total of 165m across 109m outlets by 2027.
The report also shows that UnionPay remains the most widely accepted card scheme with 71.9m merchants accepting UnionPay cards, followed by Discover (70.5m), JCB (70.4m), Visa (65.8m) and Mastercard (65.8m). It notes that, if China is removed from the figures, the percentage of merchants accepting Visa and Mastercard rises from 75% to 96%.
“More countries are expected to follow the example of Greece, where card acceptance has jumped upwards in previous years thanks to a mandate for businesses to install eftpos terminals,” the report says.
“In some countries, card acceptance is expanding rapidly but this is not translating into surges in card expenditure due to competition from alternative cashless payment methods.
“Kazakhstan is seeing triple-digit growth in eftpos device numbers but these accept domestic QR code payments as well as international card schemes.”
An RBR report in November 2020 forecast that 100m merchants worldwide will be accepting card payments by the end of 2025.