MasterCard has mandated European merchants to switch to contactless-enabled equipment from their existing point-of-sale (POS) terminals by 2020.
Existing POS terminals can be replaced at end of lifecycle, but at the latest by 1 January 2020. New POS terminals must adhere to the new standard upon deployment as from 1 January 2016.
Javier Perez, president of MasterCard Europe, said: "Europeans can use contactless cards or NFC enabled mobile payments in 36 countries across Europe and their enthusiasm for this safe and simple way to pay is evident.
"NFC-enabled cell phone shipments are to soar fourfold in the next five years according to IHS Technology. MasterCard wants to ensure that mobile and contactless payments are safe and simple wherever you are in Europe making it easy to pay how you want when you want."
Chris Kangas, head of Contactless Payments Europe at MasterCard, said: "In 2013 alone the number of MasterCard and Maestro contactless transactions across Europe tripled and the volume spent on those transactions increased four times.
"Contactless users tell us on social media that they love tapping and want to tap more. Today’s announcement is a much needed stake in the ground, marking the next milestone for contactless."