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Superdrug to trial contactless payments

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Heath & beauty specialist Superdrug has become one of the first high street retailers in the UK to introduce contactless payment systems in-store, it has been announced.

From today, customers will be able to make payments of up to £15 with just a swipe of a contactless bank card at 50 of Superdrug’s stores in London and Liverpool, with a further nationwide roll-out of the system expected later this year.

The solution, created by Streamline and Visa Europe, has already been successfully introduced into McDonalds fast-food outlets and rival systems have also been deployed through other traders but Superdrug is by far the biggest retailer to trial a contactless system to date.

Darren Wilson, Managing Director at Streamline, stated: “This partnership is the latest milestone in the adoption of contactless technology by the UK’s largest retailers. Contactless payments are a cost effective, fast and efficient option, for both customers and merchants.”

A gap in consumer understanding of the technology and concerns about costs have led to most retailers shying away from being early adopters of this emerging technology but Wilson thinks 2012 could be a “tipping point” for the payment solution.

There are currently 20 million contactless cards in circulation in the UK, and that number is expected to rise to 30 million by the end of the year, but many people may be unaware that their newly issued card contains the technology.

By introducing the new terminals into store, Superdrug hopes to be increasing customer choice, cutting transaction times and preparing itself for future technologies such as mobile handsets enabled with near field communication which will allow payments via your phone.

Gill Smith, Superdrug Financial Director, commented: “The adoption of this technology will provide a new and improved experience for our customers, with reduced queues and faster transactions.”

Published on Monday 16 January by Editorial Assistant

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