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Barclaycard reaches one million contactless card target

27 November 2008  |  14731 views  |  1 Barclaycard OnePulse2

Barclaycard is preparing to ramp up its investment in contactless card technology after issuing its one-millionth card in the UK.

Barclaycard set a target of issuing one million contactless cards in the UK earlier this year. The technology is currently available on the Barclaycard OnePulse card and the cards recently issued to Goldfish and Morgan Stanley customers. In addition, the bank says all newly issued1 Barclaycard Platinum cards will now include contactless technology.

The UK bank's faith in the technology has been bolstered by research conducted among 558 cardholders at the recent Thames Festival, in which 98% said the technology was easy to use and 88% claimed that it enabled them to cut down the amount of time they would usually take to buy items such as a coffee.

Contactless payments, which were first launched in the UK last September by Barclaycard, allow customers to purchase items of £10 and under without the need to enter a PIN or sign.

Barclays says its research demonstrates that people are increasingly open to using contactless payments on low value items in their everyday lives with over half of respondents (51%) claiming they would use a contactless card to pay for a coffee. In addition 48% would use it to purchase a sandwich; 39% a bottle of water and 37% a newspaper.

These statistics, coupled with the fact that 95% of respondents claim to make at least one transaction a day of under £10, leaves Barclaycard confident that there is a big consumer market for the technology.

To further its ambitions, the bank recently kicked off a prime-time TV advertising campaign extorting the benefits of the technology.

Barclays has also signed a deal with ubiquitous high street food chain Pret A Manger which plans to introduce the technology across its 178-strong national store network over the next six months.

Barclays says 6000 outlets now accept contactless payments throughout the UK, including well known high street retailers Coffee Republic, EAT and Yo! Sushi and thousands of local independents such as dry cleaners, shoe shops, leisure centres and bookshops.

Comments: (1)

John Clarke
John Clarke - WorldNet TPS - Dublin | 28 November, 2008, 09:42

The "tipping point" for new products like contactless is normally estimated at about 70% of the issued card base.

With approximately 70M debit cards in the UK, this would require that about 50M contactless cards need to be issued before there is a compelling case for Merchants & Acquirers to make the investment in upgrading their existing infrastructure to support contactless.

So while the 1M cards issued by Barclaycard is a milestone, it represents about 2% of what needs to be achieved.

Or it would do, if Barclaycard had made the decision to include contactless on it's debit product.  Instead it has gone with contactless on it's credit product, which seems a strange choice.

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