Visa predicts half of all transactions will be made using mobile phones by end of the decade

Visa Europe has predicted that by the end of the decade over half the transactions we make in shops will be made using our smartphones. And that's Europe-wide, not just in the UK.

Its head of mobile, Sandra Alzetta, revealed that although the rise in NFC payments was encouraging, it would rapidly accelerate, with increased focus and investment. "By 2020 almost half our volume in Europe will be via a mobile device," she said.

But Alzetta said a lot of work needed to be done before then. "We really need to educate consumers for a new way of transacting," she said. The company still feels that just the act of tapping a device or card to a reader will take some getting used to.

That said, Brits have taken to the two biggest contactless payment ventures in the country with gusto. Since the London buses started to accept payment through contactless cards five months ago, Visa alone has registered two million transactions. And Marks & Spencer now claims 20,000 contactless payments are made in stores every week.

Alzetta was speaking during a press junket to Bratislava in Slovakia, Visa's chosen test region for contactless payment because of the saturation of signed-up vendors and cooperation by O2 and Tatra Banka. 

Visa is concentrating on striking partnerships with other large brands, not just in the UK but across Europe, because you are able to use your card or phone internationally. It expects there to be  more than one million Visa-enabled readers in vendors in Europe by the end of this year.