Beeping and tapping: the new ways to pay

publish date
30 September 2021

Belgians are increasingly using their smartphones to pay. In the first eight months of this year, they have already made as many mobile payments as in the whole of 2020, according to figures from Bancontact Payconiq Company. The contactless card has also gained a prominent place in our wallet: for the first time, there are more contactless Bancontact payments in shops than traditional Bancontact payments where you insert the card in the payment terminal and always enter your PIN code.

Mobile payments

In the 'corona year' of 2020, the smartphone was already well established as a means of payment, but this year the figures are even stronger, reports Bancontact Payconiq Company. Between January and August, Belgians used their smartphone 125 million times to pay. Compared to the same period last year, this is a growth of 69%. Last month alone they 'beeped' some 18 million times with the Payconiq by Bancontact app or a banking app that has integrated the Bancontact or Payconiq mobile payment solution. 

Especially online, the dominance of the smartphone is striking. In August, 75% of all online purchases we made via Bancontact or Payconiq were paid for by mobile phone. Scanning a QR code is less cumbersome than looking for a card reader and manually entering your card number. 

In shops, too, we are increasingly using our smartphones to pay. In August, we paid more than 1 million times mobile in a physical point of sale. Compared to February 2020 (before Corona), this is almost a threefold increase in the number of mobile payments in shops.

Contactless payment

Besides beeping, Belgians have also started 'tapping' en masse to pay for something. In August, there was even a symbolic transfer from traditional to contactless card payments. In 50.8% of all Bancontact payments in shops, the card was tapped against the terminal, i.e. contactless. It is the first time that more contactless Bancontact payments were counted than traditional Bancontact payments where you insert the card in the payment terminal and always enter your PIN. Meanwhile, 86% of all Bancontact cards are equipped with the contactless payment function. It is a hygienic way of paying for purchases, as you do not (usually) have to touch the keyboard anymore.

Read the full press release here