Contactless and card payments are at an all-time high across Europe as many countries, including the UK, Sweden and Netherlands increasingly move towards cashless economies. Whether it's using their smartphones or tapping as they go, consumers are ditching coins and notes.
It's an exciting time in payments technology in Europe, but makes for an interesting contrast with the experience over in the US. Across the Atlantic, payment innovation is decades behind. Most European millennials won't remember a time when they didn't use Chip and Pin at payment terminals, but the technology is only just starting to be adopted widely stateside.
The technology is also still viewed with a substantial amount of scepticism. Many shoppers still prefer to sign for their payments, despite the security risks involved. Visa recently reported that just 28% of merchants in the US could use chip and pin technology. This is problematic for those visiting the US from countries where Chip and Pin has been universal for a long time. It causes confusion and can make payments awkward. Many holidaymakers are not aware of this before they arrive and can become unnerved when the security steps they're used to are not followed.
Making payments abroad can already be confusing for shoppers who are offered two different payment options. At the DCC Forum, we are working to make consumers better informed when it comes to the difference between in paying in the local currency or paying in your home currency using dynamic currency conversion.
If you're planning a getaway to the US, make sure you're prepared for making payments with your credit or debit card payments. Finding out more about the different options now can save confusion at the point of transaction.