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Secure Transactions News

Barclays rolls out contactless debit cards

Thursday 15 January 2009

More than three million customers are expected to be using contactless debit cards by the end of the year. This move is expected to kick start the adoption of contactless payments in the UK. By putting cards out, Barclays expects to increase the motivation for merchants to get equipped with contactless terminals.

The cards use contactless technology to enable transactions of GBP 10 (EUR 11) or less to be paid for by holding the card up to a contactless reader, without the need to enter a PIN or insert the card into the terminal. The transaction is debited directly from the customer’s current account in the same way that a standard card transaction is. The cards will still have chip and PIN which will be used for purchases and for ATM transactions. Periodically the card will prompt for the PIN to be entered to verify the customer’s identity.

Over 8000 retailers already accept contactless payments including many outlets of Pret A Manger, Coffee Republic, EAT, Books etc, Krispy Kreme, Threshers and thousands of independent retailers, with more installing the technology every week. More than 50% of the 8,000 retailers who accept contactless are outside London. Visa and Barclays said they are working closely with APACS to address retailers’ concerns, such as understanding the planned rollout of contactless cards in the market.