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Wilkinson trials contactless payments


General retail chain Wilkinson is to be the latest firm to trial contactless payments at its stores, it was revealed today.

Using a solution from Barclaycard, 25 Wilkinson stores will be trialling the technology in an attempt to cut queues and waiting times for customers.

Fellow retailers Spar, The Co-operative, Clinton Cards and Orange have all tried the system that allows customers to purchase goods of less than £15 in value through a simple swipe of a bank or credit card.

A spokesperson for Wilkinson commented: “We know that many of our customers have to shop at peak times and this is when queues can occur.

“We believe contactless will help those customers who are under time pressure and wish to buy goods below the £15 threshold.

“Contactless also fits perfectly with our aim to constantly improve customer service and satisfaction by harnessing the latest retail technologies.”

A perceived customer resistance to giving up physical money is often mentioned as the main block on the major roll-out of contactless tills, but new research from payments company The Logic Group puts this into doubt.

In its survey of 1,000 consumers only 21 per cent identified a physical attachment to cash as a key obstacle to Britain becoming a cashless society, while 45 per cent named paying for low value goods, 44 per cent said small retailers and 38 per cent said security concerns were the biggest barrier.

According to the research 80 per cent would choose to pay by cash for goods under £10 and 21 per cent think wrongly that contactless payments refers to transactions online, and so a lot of consumer education and persuasion is clearly needed.

Over one million contactless payment transactions were made in the UK last year and with 51 per cent of customers finding queues the most frustrating part of shopping, the potential for contactless is considerable.

Mark Kusionowicz, Marketing Director for The Logic Group, said: “In the UK alone, it’s estimated that consumers make 22 billion cash payments a year, worth a total of £266 billion. However, over 80 per cent of these transactions are for purchases of less than £15.

“This represents a huge opportunity for an alternative to cash that is faster, more convenient and more secure than notes and coins - and the emergence of contactless offers just this.

“However, there is clearly some work to be done in the industry to educate consumers not only to the benefits of contactless but also to what a contactless payment actually is.”

Published on Tuesday 29 March by Editorial Assistant

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