In countries like the UK, France, Finland and Austria, early adoption of contactless cards has slowed adoption of proximity mobile payments. There are some indications that the effect may be opposite in the US. Newer POS systems in the US now accept NFC partly because banks are rapidly distributing contactless credit cards.
When looking at our forecast for proximity mobile payment users worldwide, France falls into our “Slow to Adopt" bucket, just behind Finland, Russia and Spain. In fact, the only country in Europe covered in this forecast with a lower proximity mobile payment adoption rate is Germany, at 12.5% of smartphone users in 2019.
After No. 4 Mexico, the remaining countries on the top 10 list are all in Europe: the Netherlands, Italy, Finland, Spain, Austria and Switzerland. Regardless, in nearly every market where WhatsApp has a strong footprint, it has become a go-to communication tool for its users.
The company is also conducting a facial recognition payment trial in Finland and has launched a pilot of a “dual-interface” biometric payment card, which requires a fingerprint scan instead of a PIN or signature.