Contactless payments: also available abroad

Stay up to date with the latest measures from the financial sector

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Are you heading abroad soon? Know that you can also make contactless payments for your purchases there. It works both domestically and internationally.


Well-prepared for your vacation


ou can make contactless payments with your debit card or your smartphone. However, make sure you are well-prepared when traveling abroad. Sometimes the rules may be slightly different than in Belgium.

Febelfin lists below everything you need to know about contactless payments:

  • The way you make contactless payments is the same in Belgium as it is abroad.
  • You can make contactless payments anywhere in the world, provided that the payment terminal in the store accepts contactless payments. How can you tell? Check if the same contactless symbol (4 radio waves) is displayed on the payment terminal as on your debit card. If you're unsure, ask the cashier.
  • In Belgium, the transaction limit for contactless payments is set at 50 EUR. Each country determines its own limit for contactless payments. So, it's best to ask the cashier about the limit that applies to your holiday destination.
  • You can perform successive small contactless payments, just like in Belgium, with a limit of up to 100 EUR. Once you reach the limit of 100 EUR, you'll need to re-enter your PIN code.
  • If the terminal is not equipped for contactless payments or you've reached the transaction limit, you can continue making payments by inserting your debit card into the payment terminal and entering your PIN code.

Always good to know


# Paying with your debit card

If you're vacationing in Europe, you don't need to take any action. When traveling outside of Europe, you may need to temporarily activate your debit card based on your chosen destination. You can do this at your bank.

Extra costs? Show less

When you make payments or withdraw money within the Eurozone using your debit card, it is always based on the prevailing rate in the country of origin. Outside the Eurozone, additional charges apply, even when you withdraw money from an ATM. You can refer to the fee schedule on your bank's website for this.

# Paying with your credit card

Your credit card generally works on all destinations. For a trip to the United States, you may need to activate your card. Be sure to check with your bank.

Extra costs? Show less

When you make payments within the Eurozone using your credit card, it is also based on the prevailing rate in the country of origin; additional charges apply outside the Eurozone. When you withdraw money from an ATM using your credit card, whether within Europe or beyond, extra charges are always incurred. You can find the list of rates on your bank's website.

# Paying with your smartphone

In Belgium, paying with your smartphone is an ideal payment method: it's fast, secure, and always available. However, don't assume that you can use your smartphone to pay everywhere and anywhere abroad.

Most mobile payment solutions (e.g., a QR code through your own bank app) work locally (in Belgium) only and are not offered internationally. Exceptions to this are Apple and Google Pay: you can use these two mobile payment solutions both here and abroad.

No matter which payment method you choose, always remain vigilant. Scammers are active even during the summer months.

Whichever payment method you choose, always remain vigilant. Scammers remain active even during the summer months.

Fully prepared? Febelfin wishes you a relaxing and above all, a safe vacation!