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Mobile payments on the rise


More than 7 out of 10 point-of-sale payments were contactless in the Netherlands in 2023. More and more contactless payments are made using a smartphone or smartwatch rather than with a debit card. The traditional method of inserting a debit card is becoming less common. This has been revealed by a joint study conducted by the Dutch Payments Association (Betaalvereniging Nederland) and De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).

Published: 15 April 2024

Man betaalt de rekening in het café met zijn mobiel.

Mobile payments increasingly popular, at the expense of card payments

The proportion of contactless point-of-sale (POS) payments using a smartphone or smartwatch has increased sharply, from 21% in 2022 to 29% in 2023. In particular, this increase has been at the expense of the share of debit card payments, both contactless and by inserting the card in the traditional way. This shift can also be seen throughout 2023: in the first month of 2023, 23% of all POS payments were made using a smartphone or smartwatch, while in the last month of the year it was 33%. If this trend continues, contactless payment by mobile or smartwatch will be the most common way to pay at the checkout later in 2024.

Share of total number of payments.

The higher the amount, the more likely we still insert our debit card

The proportion of POS payments for which a debit card was inserted fell by one-fifth, from 10% to 8%. Debit card insertions depend partly on the transaction amount involved. In 2023, for example, for amounts lower than €5, a debit card was inserted into the POS terminal in only 4% of purchases. For amounts between €20 and €50, this was more than twice as high (9%), and for amounts above €50 it was even four times as high (18%). One possible explanation for the relatively high share of debit cards insertions for amounts above €50 is that not so long ago, inserting a card was mandatory for amounts above €50, which is why some people continue to do so habitually.

Especially at petrol stations, payments were often made this way: more than 1 in 4 payments (26%) were made by inserting a debit card. There are two possible explanations for this: payments for fuel are often more than €50, and many unstaffed stations introduced contactless payment not so long ago, so we are not yet used to paying contactless at these locations.

We use cash more often for small amounts

A quarter of the POS payments below €5 were paid with cash (25%). For purchases between €50 and €100, it was almost half this number (13%). We paid 16% of the amounts above €100 with cash, slightly up from 2022. The use of cash has remained stable: for three years now, 2 out of 10 POS purchases have been paid with cash.

Point of sale payments in 2023

Download Point of sale payments in 2023

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