As the leader in contactless payments, the UK has embraced the technology for over a decade. In the last few years, the UK has experienced a rapid uptake of contactless solutions, with digital transactions tripling over the past two years while cash payments dropped by 15 percent over the last year. This is thanks in part to the emergence of ApplePay, GooglePay and SamsungPay.
While conventional cards have contactless payment limits – currently £30 – wearables such as payment enabled smartphones and smartwatches do not and can be used to perform contactless transactions of any value. Consumers in the UK have become accustomed to the ease and speed that contactless payment brings, happily adopting a wide variety of innovative payment wearables such as watches, bracelets and rings as well as portable instruments such as key fobs and labels. These instruments typically allow the consumer to skip the step of entering a PIN. The consumer expectation is that ePayment is a fast and convenient process – even more so than the hard cash it replaces!
As contactless payments in the UK continues to grow, several mandates on the horizon look set to accelerate adoption even further.
New Mandates for the UK
Now that the May 25th, 2018 deadline for GDPR compliance has passed, merchants in the UK are beginning to make preparations to align with other card brand and PCI mandates: by August 2019 all legacy terminals that are not contactless-enabled must be made ready or replaced and by April 30th 2020, any legacy payment terminal that is not compliant with the PCI security standard for PIN transaction PTS 3.0 devices can no longer be deployed unless purchased by that date.
In addition, card companies have already begun enforcing the Zero Floor Limit mandate, requiring all contactless transactions be authorized (VISA put this mandate into effect in October of 2017). The purpose of these mandates is to mitigate fraud given the growing number of payment instruments and cards that do not generally require any cardholder authentication when used.
Another likely result of these mandates is that contactless payments will continue to rise, as more consumers have the opportunity to tap to pay at even more points of service.
Meeting Mandates While Keeping Consumers Happy
Keeping compliant with new mandates and putting the consumer experience first is possible. The team at FreedomPay works with merchants to enable contactless on all terminals with the added security of PCI point-to-point encryption (PCI P2PE), in as little as three to four weeks. Our unified global platform allows for data protection and consumer privacy to be centrally managed, whether a consumer lives in the UK or elsewhere in the world. With recent accreditations from Elavon Europe, we can bring next generation ePayment, card present and eCommerce services to over 30 countries – offering one gateway to all pan European and Transatlantic payments.
FreedomPay ensures that merchants remain compliant and customers remain satisfied with fast and secure payments. Contact us today to learn more.