Croatia and Europe Going Contactless

Total Croatia News

By 2020, about 50% of Visa transactions in Europe will be done via mobile technology.

The card industry is increasingly being integrated with mobile technology. Catalin Cretu, the Visa Europe manager for Croatia, Malta, Romania and Slovenia, discussed the impact on Europe and Croatia for Večernji List on March 9, 2016.

“Mobile technology is changing everything. The two most important trends are the contactless technology that you, too, have on the market here in Croatia; and mobile payments that will replace the contactless card with the one incorporated into the smartphone which you just need to hold near the reader device when paying for something”, Cretu said.

For this payment system to take root, he added, at least 30 percent of the POS network has to be switched to contactless technology. “That is something that the banks in Europe and in Croatia are doing now. Currently, we are at about 20 percent, but the number is quickly rising. Starting from January 1 this year, all the POS terminals that banks are deploying have to be contactless.”

The advantages are especially evident when it comes to quick and small purchases. In Cretu’s words, public transportation systems and merchants who put emphasis on fast service, such as fast food shops, are especially interested in this technology. “Fast payment allows a larger number of customers to shop faster. In a year or two, all the banks will switch to contactless cards”, he said.

According to Cretu, the next step are mobile payments. To use this payment method you won’t have to carry your card anymore, but only a mobile phone that you have on you anyway. “E-shopping is also booming and spreading around Croatia very quickly, but the volume still has to grow nominally, not just in percentages”, he noted.

It is difficult to foresee when the time will come when we will not need the cards anymore, Cretu said, but by 2020 about 50 percent of our transactions in Europe should be done via mobile phones, tablets or some other “wearables”, like bracelets, rings or watches that could be used to pay for food or drinks at concerts.

The Visa Europe manager pointed out it was much easier to pay with something you have on you already. “People don’t like to pay, but they like to shop. This is why we are using technology that should turn payments into a smooth experience. If I do have the money and want to buy something, the merchant should have a way to charge me even if I didn’t bring anything with me. But, people should still keep good control over their finances”.


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