Europe News Roundup: Mobile Payments Have Taken Off

A look at European payments news this week reveals that financial technology is alive and well across Europe. Visa released statistics on explosive growth in mobile payments, and several new partnerships are expanding the ways Europeans – and visitors – can pay.

Visa’s 2016 Digital Payments Study found that the number of Europeans using some sort of mobile device to make payments has tripled over the past year, the company said. The study surveyed more than 36,000 online consumers in 19 European countries.

Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland Managing Director at Visa, said, “This data is a confirmation that the future of digital payments has arrived, with consumers across the length and breadth of the UK and Europe embracing a variety of new ways to pay. Visa sees smartphones and wearables as the beginning of a broader trend, with millions of new connected devices making it simple, safe and secure to integrate daily commerce transactions into almost any technology.

A new partnership between Vodafone and PayPal will enable U.K. customers to make contactless payments funded from their PayPal accounts, Vodafone said. Users will be able to link a PayPal account to Vodafone Pay and then pay by tapping their Android phone in more than 400,000 locations across the U.K.

In a press release, Rob Harper, Director of Mobile Commerce, PayPal UK, said, “Money is going digital, and the smartphone is at the center of this transformation. Mobile payments have long been at the heart of what we do. In fact, this year marks 10 years since we first launched a mobile payment service in the UK. As mobile technology continues to evolve, we will continue to look at new ways to make it easier and faster for our customers to pay.”

Alipay, a mobile payment app run by Alibaba partner Ant Financial, has chosen Zapper, a mobile payment and marketing company, as its first mobile payments partner in the U.K. According to a report in Finextra, the partnership “will allow over 250,000 Chinese tourists visiting the UK to pay using the Alipay app in over 1,000 locations nationwide.”

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