Digital payments, Italians using contactless rise to 74%

SumUp Country Growth Lead Italy: “2020 is the turning point but in 2021 the trend has been maintained and growth continues”

The digital payments of Italians are increasingly contactless: from 2019 to today this payment method – also thanks to the need dictated by the pandemic to maintain distance and avoid contacts for security reasons – has grown evidently. If in January 2019 less than half of the transactions via Pos were carried out using NFC contactless technology (46%), in autumn 2021 the percentage of Italians who use digital payments and prefer to avoid typing pins on the keyboard or handling Pos reached 74%. This is what emerges from the latest SumUp Observatory, the fintech of the digital payments sector and innovative cashless solutions, which underlines how, from an average of 53% in 2019, it has gone up to that of 66% in 2020 and reached 71% in 2021, showing growth of 34.1% over 2019 and 7.8% over 2020.

“Surely 2020 was the year of the turning point, but it should be noted that in 2021 the trend has been maintained and the growth continues, albeit in a slower way. In fact, we must consider on the one hand the increasing predisposition of merchants to accept payments by card, also supported by the government tax credit; on the other hand, the increase in the threshold for contactless payments without pin to 50 euros, flanked by the spread of devices such as smartphones and smartwatches, which allow you to pay in contactless mode and thus speed up cash transactions “commenta Umberto Zola, Country Growth Lead Italy of SumUp. “Paying with a smartphone is in fact very fast, as well as convenient, being a tool that you always have at your fingertips and that, unlike your wallet, you can hardly forget at home. In addition, a contactless payment transaction with a card or with phone, it takes on average half the time it takes for a cash payment. ”

Merchants also confirm the tendency to pay without cash: in 53% of cases, According to a survey conducted by SumUp in October 2021, they say they have noticed that customers are more inclined to pay cashless. Especially the patrons of bars and clubs appreciate contactless, who in 8 out of 10 cases prefer to pay without contact. In fact, this category of traders shows a growth of 15% between 2019 and 2020, while in 2021 the increase is contained (4%), but it allows to consolidate the position. The traders in the Food & Grocery sector follow (77.7% of contactless transactions), and newsstands, which went from 57.2% in 2019 to 77.3% in 2021. Significant growth between 2020 and 2021 of 16% recorded by merchants in the music, concerts and cinema sector, which climbs the rankings and passes from 14th to 4th place. Growth is manifested throughout Italy at a regional level, albeit to a lesser extent than that observed in 2020 and the South is at the top.