Viewpoint: Contactless transactions

Contactless transactions are increasingly used as the payment landscape continues to evolve.  Cardholders are enjoying faster payments and the ability to pay how they want, either using a card, or NFC if their smartphone has the required app. The ability to Tap & Go is convenient for both cardholders and retailers. As no PIN is required for a contactless transaction (up to the floor limit allowed in the market), there are risks if a contactless card or NFC enabled device is lost or stolen.

From September to December 2018 EAST ran a poll which asked the question ‘What is most important to you when making a contactless transaction?’  The results can be seen in the chart below.

contactless transactions

  • The majority of the respondents felt that ‘security and speed’ was most important – 41% feeling that a PIN is required for larger transactions over an agreed limit and 28% feeling that a PIN is required only after a user-defined amount limit.
  • 17% felt that speed alone was most important, and that a PIN was not required
  • 8% felt that security was most important and that a PIN should be used for all contactless transactions.
  • 6% chose speed and security, feeling that no PIN should be required when shopping at specified merchants

Viewpoint: PSD2 will revolutionise the payments system

All respondents to an EAST Poll that ran from May to August 2018 felt that the new Payments Service Directive 2 (PSD2) will revolutionise the payments system.  58% felt that it would have an impact on a medium or shortt term basis and 42% felt that the impact would be on a long term basis.


PSD2 came into force on 13 January 2018. Banks need to adapt to the required changes that open many technical challenges, but also many strategic opportunities, such as collaborating with fintech providers, for the future.  The PSD2 aims are to:

  • better protect consumers when they pay online
  • promote the development and use of innovative online and mobile payments such as through open banking
  • make cross-border European payment services safer.

PSD2 is an EU Directive, administered by the European Commission (Directorate General Internal Market) to regulate payment services and payment service providers throughout the European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA).