In December 2021, four out of ten payments with national and foreign cards were contactless.

This 40% contrasts with the less than 10% recorded at the end of 2019, before the pandemic, when contactless technology was little used in payment terminal operations. “In April 2020, right at the beginning of the pandemic, contactless technology started to be used in about 20% of purchases, maintaining a growing trend of use since then”, describes the Bank of Portugal (BdP), pointing to greater “familiarization with this technology” and progressive “greater availability”.

This evolution of contactless payments goes hand in hand with the significant increase in the preference for card payments, in person or online, which surpassed the pre-pandemic level by registering a growth of 8% (another 4.1 billion euros) in the last year.

“The most evident marks of change in Portuguese payment habits are the choice of electronic payment instruments, to the detriment of paper-based ones, a greater preference for in-person and online purchases with a card and the greater use of contactless technology“, details the Bank of Portugal.