The emergency situation led people in Estonia to use contactless payments more in the second quarter

Tiina Soosalu
Tiina Soosalu
Eesti Pank Payment and Settlement Systems Department

The banks raised the limit on contactless payments from 25 euros to 50 euros at the end of March to reduce contact with terminals during the emergency situation and so help restrain the spread of the virus. In the second quarter, 38% of card payments were contactless, up from 24% of such payments a year earlier.

Contactless payments increased their share of turnover to 21% from 10% a year earlier. This figure has been rising steadily and there was no great leap in it during the emergency situation.

Of the cards issued by banks in Estonia, 86% have contactless capability, though around a quarter of contactless card holders have deactivated the contactless function. Contactless payments can be made at 87% of payment terminals. The limit of 50 euros on contactless payments will continue to apply after the end of the emergency situation.

See the infographic on the turnover and number of card payments here.

Although contactless capability is quite widespread in Estonia and around the world, people in Estonia are quite reserved about using it. How can fears be overcome so that faster payments can be made?

  • You should keep your contactless cards securely like you keep cash in a safe place. If your contactless card or any other bank card is lost, you should immediately contact the bank that issued it to deactivate the card. This can also be done through a mobile banking app.
  • You can increase security by setting immediate notifications in the mobile bank. Then you will be able to react quickly if you know that a payment has been made by someone other than you.
  • The safest method is to use a smartphone or smartwatch for contactless payments.

For further information:
Mart Siilivask
Tel: 668 0965,
Mobile: 5697 9146
Email: mart.siilivask [at] eestipank.ee
Press enquiries: press [at] eestipank.ee