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Contactless Payments King in World Cup Stadiums

Visa, which is FIFA’s official payments services partner, yesterday released an analysis of visitors’ spending during the World Cup’s opening days. It found that one in five purchases made with Visa in the Russian cities hosting the tournament were contactless, with the number jumping to just over half for in-stadium purchases.

Contactless payment methods include smartphones, bracelets, and rings.

Ekaterina Petelina, country manager for Visa Russia, says that contactless and digital payments give the many World Cup visitors streaming into Russia from around the world a convenient and efficient way to pay: “In the stadiums particularly, fans are using contactless payment technology to speed through the lines and quickly get back to the action on the pitch.”

Visitors from the US, China, and Mexico, respectively, are the biggest spenders so far at the 2018 World Cup. The most money goes towards accommodation, fashion, and restaurants.

The subway in Milan has also just enabled contactless payments for Visa and MasterCard holders. Riders can now pay for tickets directly at turnstiles.

On Tuesday, June 26th, 2018, Google’s contactless payment method, Google Pay, launched in Germany, a country where the overwhelming majority of payments are made in cash. In the country, individuals have on average EUR 107 in cash on their person, and amounts of EUR 5 or less are paid in cash 96% of the time, according to a 107 study by the Bundesbank titled “Payment behaviour in Germany.” The Google Pay roll-out was made in cooperation with four German banks.

In the UK, in contrast to Germany, debit card payments have surpassed cash as the top payment means. Additionally, the UK is seeing the closure of 300 ATMs monthly, according to consumer insights association Which?. This drop is partly due to the sharp rise of contactless payments being used in small transactions.

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