MASTERCARD has said that all stores across Europe will accept contactless payments by 2020, paving the way for wider adoption of mobile payment solutions.
Mike Cowan, head of emerging payments products at MasterCard, revealed at the company's Future of Payments event in London on Wednesday that Europeans will soon be able to tap to pay anywhere.
"From the beginning of 2016 any new payment terminal that gets deployed must accept contactless, and every single terminal must accept it by 2020," Cowan said.
This means that new point of sale terminals must adhere to the new standard on deployment from 1 January 2016, while existing terminals that don't yet support contactless payments must be replaced by 1 January 2020 at the latest.
This infrastructure will also support NFC-based mobile payments, and MasterCard said that Apple Pay and Android Pay will be supported at thousands of European shops when they become available outside the US.
"There's good news from the mobile payments perspective, as contactless has been paving the way for the past eight years, with this infrastructure enabling mobile NFC payments at a global scale," Cowan said.
"This means that Apple Pay can be used at any contactless terminal when it comes to the UK."
Echoing remarks made by TfL's director of customer experience, Shashi Verma, MasterCard said that mobile payments haven't really taken off yet, but Apple and Google could have the means to finally fuel this growth.
Johan Lindstrom, head of digital commerce at MasterCard Europe, said that the uptake of mobile payments has been much slower than the company expected.
"We used to think that everyone is only going to be using mobile phones for payments. We've been saying that for the past 10 years," he said.
However, Lindstrom predicted that 2015 is going to be the year that mobile payments finally take off "as a result of players like Apple and Google entering the space".
"If consumers find experiences that make their lives better, and merchants can offer experiences that help them sell more at the end of the day, that's when it's really interesting and really powerful, and that's what this technology is making possible," Lindstrom added.
"Digital devices, like a mobile phone, allow a completely different type of interaction between buyer and merchant. It changes how consumers feel about the whole shopping experience." µ
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