Leading supermarket chain Asda has announced today that it will join several other major UK retailers in trialling contactless payments in some of its stores later this year.
New POS terminals with contactless technology, which allow consumers to pay for items with a simple swipe of a bank card, will be installed at 25 Asda stores from July.
Initially the service will be capped to transaction worth no more than £15, moving up to £20 later this summer, but Asda hopes that it will help to significantly reduce in-store queues during peak times.
The new system has been created by card payments acquiring business Streamline & payment services giant Visa Europe, which were also behind similar solutions previously introduced into WHSmith & Superdrug stores.
Matthew Rowsell, Chief Commercial Officer at Streamline, said: “This partnership is the latest step in the contactless revolution that we’re seeing right across the UK. Bringing Asda on board reinforces how popular and necessary contactless has become.
“Streamline is committed to keeping retailers up to date with the latest industry and consumer trends, with ongoing support and guidance in implementation.”
To date there are as many as 20 million contactless cards in circulation in the UK and by the end of 2013 that number is expected to rise to as high as 30 million.
Many consumers may be unaware that their bank cards allow for contactless payment however, as several leading banks have simply provided the technology as standard once shoppers’ existing cards expire.
Last month it was revealed that there was a potential flaw with Barclaycard’s contactless cards, which could allow tech-savvy thieves steal payment information from consumers simply by placing a phone near to them.
Mark Austin, Head of Contactless, Visa Europe commented: “The rollout of contactless technology by organisations like Asda is helping to set the scene for a major change in the way we pay.
“We’re excited to be working with partners across the industry and remain committed to the rollout of Visa payWave to match the ever increasing uptake of Visa contactless cards by British consumers.”