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By Tom Phillips[2] • Updated[3]

Smartphone making Visa contactless transactionSmartphone making Visa contactless transaction
Visa[4] has processed 1bn additional PIN-less, touch-free payments since 29 countries across Europe[5] increased contactless transaction limits in response to the Covid-19 pandemic last year, the card network reports.

Some 400m of these additional transactions took place in the UK, where the contactless limit rose[6] to £45 (US$62) in March 2020 and is being increased again this year[7] to £100 (US$138).

“Growing demand for contactless transactions is evident across Europe, with over 80% of in-store Visa payments now contactless,” the card network says.

“In France and Germany, the number of contactless transactions has increased by two thirds and almost half, respectively, year-on-year.”

“The popularity of ecommerce is also surging across Europe, with over 15 countries experiencing a 40% or higher increase in ecommerce transactions in December 2020 versus the year before,” Visa adds.

“The demand for touch-free payments indicates that contactless has become the norm for European consumers and retailers,” says Visa’s CEO Europe, Charlotte Hogg.

“Contactless payments are popular because they combine speed and convenience

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currensceneFLOGO WHTsquareThough not the oldest form of currency, some form of shell money appears to have been found on almost every continent. The shell most widely used worldwide as currency was the shell of Cypraea moneta, the money cowry.

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