Ukraine holds the lead in NFC payments

November 13, 2023 | By Yuriy Batkhin

Ukraine remains one of the leading countries in global NFC payments adoption, maintaining its position at the forefront even in the face of wartime challenges.

This achievement is underpinned by many factors, with the development of contactless payments playing a pivotal role. Mastercard’s contactless technology once revolutionized the country’s payment landscape, while further introduction of mobile contactless payments enhanced the client experience, offering Ukrainians even more seamless digital payment options. Today, an impressive 63% of all contactless payments with Mastercard cards in Ukraine are made using NFC-enabled devices.

The development of the POS terminal network supporting contactless technology has also become an important factor in the evolution of the contactless payments culture. According to the National Bank of Ukraine (NBU), almost 97% of POS terminals in the country accept contactless payments today. Meanwhile, 95% of all payments with Mastercard cards in brick-and-mortar stores in Ukraine are contactless. This surge in contactless payments is particularly prominent in popular categories such as food retail, food services, clothing and footwear, and petrol stations.

An integrated approach to the development of contactless payments in the country and the openness of its population to embrace innovations, has created an ideal environment for the digital leap, earning Ukraine a place among the world’s leading countries in NFC payment adoption. 

For five years in a row, Ukraine has been among the top 10 countries globally for the number of NFC payments with Mastercard digital cards. According to Mastercard’s transaction data for Q3 2023, the nation ranked in the top five, along with Australia, the UK, the Netherlands and the US.

The rapid rise of mobile contactless payments is driven by the growing adoption of digital wallets - including Apple Pay, Google Pay, Garmin Pay etc. - that allow users to turn an NFC-enabled gadget, such as a smartphone, smart watch or fitness tracker, into a convenient payment tool. The widespread adoption of contactless payment technology has also played a key role in this remarkable journey.

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Yuriy Batkhin, Vice President, Business Development, Ukraine and Moldova