RBS and NatWest have announced plans to issue over two milion contactless Visa cards to customers in the UK over the next year.
"Build it and they will come" (issue and they will use) - I don't think it's that simple in case of contactless EMV.
One needs to understand what drives banks in that respect: increased turnover that comes from cash replacement (and not user convenience as many believe). Considering that most contactless payments are via a debit card, profitability for the issuers is low.
Hence, all that hype and effort to push a low-margin "commodity" product of dubious consumer value. Don't banks have a better idea when it comes to "mobile" and "contactless"? (It's a rhetoric question as we all know the answer...)
The only contactless I currently have is on my credit card, a card that I will not use until I have paid it off....not much of an incentive for me right now. If it were on my debt card then perhaps I would be inclined to use it more at lunchtimes, but after
the fifth consecutive time of using it I will still need to use my PIN, so still somewhat self-defeating.
Make contactless on all transactions - whatever the amount, then you will have me. Until then it is just a novel way of paying for less than £20.
I believe there will be a payments revolution, when cash is no more and the basic materials required to make plastic are all but spent, but it won't be contactless.
© Finextra Research 2013