Co-op introduce contactless payments

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The Co-operative Food will become the UK’s first major grocery retailer to introduce contactless payment in its stores nationwide after joining forces with Barclaycard.

The roll-out will begin with a pilot in 100 Co-operative food stores next year after an agreement was signed with Barclaycard in partnership with Visa. If the pilot is successful, The Co-operative says it will roll out the terminals to the majority of its food stores in time for the 2012 Olympics, which is being billed as a contactless event, where visitors will be able to use the new cards to pay for transport, tickets and other low value purchases.

Roll-out of contactless payment in the UK began in 2007 and there are now over nine million contactless enabled cards in circulation, with Visa estimating that 12 million will be in issue by the end of the year.

The Co-op expects contactless to increase throughput as research has shown that a large number of customers will walk out of a shop if they see an excessive queue length.

Mark Hale, director of Food IS, The Co-operative, says: “In essence, this innovative technology will mean increased customer choice and faster transaction speed, which will vastly improve the customer experience.”