The American processing system is lagging when it comes to contactless payment usage. This is compared to European users, and while the US consumers are slowing getting into the idea of contactless payments, they are nowhere near the rate as Europeans. Visa Europe figured this out, and they also figured out that about 25% of the contactless payment devices in the USA are vending machines. In total, there are around 700,000 contactless payment accepting locations in the USA, verses 2.6 million across Europe. One could argue that Europe is larger, or has their safer chip and PIN card to rely on. However, technological advances should not stop just because one area is larger. The card issue is a fair argument, but thanks to technological advances, changes are soon to come to the USA.
In Europe, where EMV chip and PIN cards are firmly established, many issuers first offered contact chip cards in which the card is inserted into an EMV terminal. Nevertheless, EMV cards with contactless functionality also included are gaining share because their fast transaction speeds make them ideal for use at grocery stores, quick-service restaurants, convenience stores, and mass transit. This is soon to happen in the USA, as these cards are now on a trial basis with many card companies, and they are set to become the standard in 2016, unless the government pushes the date back once again.
While the USA is lagging, there are things that merchants can do to help increase their contactless payment solution dreams. While the payment solutions are great for people who want a quick checkout, they can be less secure than other methods. You need to make sure that you have a reliable high risk credit card processing account. While it may seem like one is easy to find (especially using Google Search), you need to be careful. Not all high risk credit card processors are created equally, and they are not all suited for the same types of businesses. You need to be upfront with your desires of offering contactless payment options. This is a big deal, and can often be a deal breaker when it comes to obtaining a processing account.