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KBC sees growth in adoption of digital and mobile wallets amidst Covid-19

20 July 2020

Pandemic stimulates behavioural change as consumers switch to digital and mobile payments

KBC Bank, Ireland’s digital first bank, recorded a  significant increase in customers using its digital and mobile wallets (Apple Pay™, Google Pay™, Fitbit Pay™, Garmin Pay™ and Wena Pay™) , as the pandemic continues to accelerate the adoption of digital and mobile payments among consumers.

Contactless payments made through KBC’s market-leading range of digital and mobile wallets increased by 38% year-on-year in June, and also marked a 27% month-on-month increase when compared to figures recorded in May.

The growth in digital and mobile  payments signals a significant shift in consumer banking behaviour following the outbreak of COVID-19. Across April, May and June – the height of the pandemic – the volume of contactless transactions made through KBC’s digital and mobile wallets increased by 18% when compared to the same period last year. In June, 20% of transactions made through KBC’s suite of digital and mobile wallets were over €30.00, up from just 9% in June of last year.

Commenting Fergal O’Riagain, Director of Daily Banking Products at KBC Bank Ireland said, “Customers are taking advantage of our suite of digital and mobile wallets, particularly as consumers look to limit in-store interactions as the economy begins to reopen.

In May, the volume of digital and mobile payments made via a mobile or smartwatch increased by 19% year-on-year, while June saw a bigger spike of 38% year-on-year. We also noticed a significant rise in the value of digital and mobile wallet payments, with more people preferring the speed and convenience of tap and go transactions when paying for essential items. This trend looks set to continue as consumer’s embrace new ways to pay, and as a bank that prides itself on digital innovation, we are well positioned to support consumers in making the transition.”


Recent data from the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) also point to an increase in the value of contactless transactions, with May figures accounting for the highest value on record this year. According to the BPFI, the average transaction value rose to  €15.30 in May, up from €11.92 in February. In June, the value of contactless transactions made through KBC’s digital wallets rose 26% month- on-month, with the average transaction value standing at €25.00, up from €15.00 in the same month last year.

Spending on KBC debit cards increased by 32%  in June, marking the second highest monthly spend on record. Of those transactions, approximately 47% were made online. In addition to this the bank recently launched  a new tokenization system in partnership with Mastercard. The new service, called MDES for Merchants, allows KBC customers to make convenient and secure digital payments with participating online merchants using their KBC debit or credit card, further limiting their exposure to fraud.

KBC is currently the only bank in the Irish market to offer digital and mobile wallets from five of the world’s leading technology companies, offering mobile payments through Apple Pay™, Google Pay™, Fitbit Pay™, Garmin Pay™ and Wena Pay™. Contactless payments made through KBC’s digital and mobile wallets are free, and not subject to the current €50.00 limit on transactions made with a physical debit or credit card.