Halifax begins contactless card roll out

Halifax begins contactless card roll out

UK high street bank Halifax has begun issuing contactless debit cards featuring Visa payWave technology to around 25,000 customers in London.

The cards are being rolled out to customers who are taking part in the initial phase of the national contactless payment roll-out.

Users can pay for items costing up to £10 by waving the card over a contactless reader. The card can also be used as a normal debit card to pay for items costing more than £10 as well as at ATMs.

The cards can currently be used in around a thousand shops, petrol stations, bars and restaurants around the City of London, including McDonald's, Coffee Republic, Yo! Sushi and Threshers.

Paul Marriott-Clarke, head of banking, Halifax, says: "Contactless payment through Visa payWave is quick and convenient - ideally suited to busy cities like London as it is the fastest and most convenient way for customers to pay for their small everyday purchases."

The contactless technology is expected to be rolled out across the UK from mid-2008. UK payments association Apacs estimates that over five million contactless cards will have been issued by the end of 2008 and that they will be accepted in at least 100,000 merchants across the country.

Barclaycard recently released it combined contactless Oyster travel and debit card, OnePulse, in London. The card has a standard chip and PIN payment system, Oyster card functionality and Visa's 'wave and pay' contactless payment technology, which can be used for transactions of £10 or less and billed on the credit card account.

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