Enabling Technologies

Rapid Increase in Mobile Payments in Europe, Especially in the UK

Mobile payments is gaining momentum with the whole world adapting to new payment technologies. A study conducted by Adyen, an Amsterdam based payment company, during the end of 2014, suggests that Europe remained one of the leading regions for mobile payments adoption with 24 percent of all mobile payments, followed by Asia with 17 percent during that period. Among the European countries, the UK topped the charts with 41 percent, followed by countries like Netherlands and Spain with 26 percent, and France and Germany with 18 percent and 16 percent respectively.

This trend shows that the UK leads the pack in the usage of mobile payments and has the potential to grow even further during this year. The reason behind this could be the fact that many major banks like Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds and Santander are already providing the ‘Paym’ service of linking mobile numbers with bank accounts to allow consumers to pay for goods and services with just their mobile phones. Since banks have taken the initiative of offering this service, people tend to use it with confidence.

According to a recent survey conducted on the ‘Paym’ service, consumers tend to use mobile payments due to its convenience without the necessity of sharing account details with others. Additionally, people believe that carrying just a phone while leaving the house is an added advantage as it removes the burden of keeping cash, managing cards and visiting cash machines.

Talking about Mobile payments in the UK leads us to another important matter—Apple Pay has yet to launch in the UK and other parts of Europe.  An article in The Telegraph states that, “at present, Apple iOS leads the bandwagon with 42.5 percent of sales in Britain. With an increased user base and awareness level, it seems that the idea of mobile payments will be etched into the minds of the public by the time Apple Pay gets launched in Britain.”

To further simplify payments, NFC based contactless payments are gaining new support from HSBC, as it prepares to implement the Host Card emulation technology (HCE) for Android users in the UK. Though a few banking initiatives like Barclays’ ‘Quick Tap’ program were already established in 2011, the NFC payments technology reached people at scale only when Google started supporting HCE in Android applications. This is mainly due to the user friendly payments applications at Google users' fingertips that is supported in the Android OS.


Shubha has deep interest in studying the intersections of the physical world with the digital world and writing about it. She is a techno-commercial person, a gadget freak and she has worked at Amazon in the past.

Apply to Become a Contributor