Liechtensteinische Landesbank has launched its payment app LiPay in April, making contactless payments easier and more popular in Liechtenstein. So far, Liechtenstein has not exactly been a contactless payment pioneer.

Cashless payment has been a megatrend over the last decade. Liechtensteinische Landesbank (LLB) launched LiPay in April 2020, a payment app that enables digital instant payments. As COVID has made contactless payments a more urgent matter, LLB has decided to bring their app to market earlier than initially planned.

“Because of the Corona-pandemic, we wanted to launch LiPay as soon as possible, to contribute protecting people,” says Group CEO Roland Matt.

LiPay considers international expansion

LiPay enables contactless payment via smartphones, directly from account to account or in more than 60 retail stores in Liechtenstein. It’s as easy as that: A user scans a QR code with his smartphone camera and confirms the payment. That’s it, no rocket-science. The app is integrated into the LLB Mobile Banking App. Users can transfer money through QR codes or send a link in a message to request payments. Once the payment has been made, sender and receiver will get a notification and the accounts are updated in real-time.

LLB cooperates with Swiss-based Software company Ergon, according to a Twitter announcement. So far, however, the app is not available in Switzerland. According to the local news page, LiPay is planning an international expansion as foreign businesses have expressed their interest in integrating LiPay as a cost-effective payment solution.

One of many payment apps

Contactless payment solutions like LiPay have seen significant tailwind during the pandemic. As physical cash had been identified as a major transmitter of the COVID-virus, central banks in many countries have even recalled cash to get cleaned or destroyed. The pandemic has thus resulted in a major push in developed economies to foster contactless payment solutions.

That said, LiPay, which is without any doubt a very useful and handy payment app, is nothing the world has never seen before. There are tons of other apps in Europe that accomplish the same and in other parts of the world, predominantly in Asia, contactless payments have long become a standard. Take China, for example, where you can pay nearly everywhere for nearly everything with Wechat or Alipay.

But Europe has caught up. In 2020, Europe is the leading market for contactless payments in terms of market size, and it is highly fragmented based on multi-currencies and multi-languages. The UK, Poland, Spain and Germany are the leading countries in the European contactless payment market. The total contactless spending has grown in these countries with the increasing circulation of contactless cards and terminals by card companies, such as Visa and Mastercard.

Interestingly, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, that aim to be digital frontrunners, are not the European leaders when it comes to contactless payments. LiPay thus seems like a step forward, although it’s more like catching up.

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