Lloyds TSB has become the latest UK bank to start issuing customers with contactless debit cards, initially focusing on the London area.
All new and replacement Visa debit cards issued to customers within the M25 motorway will include contactless technology, with Lloyds expecting to hand out around one million by the end of the year. People outside of the M25 will not automatically be sent an NFC card but can request one.
Users will be able to make payments of less than £15 by waving their cards over specially equipped point-of-sale terminals. There are currently around 50,000 of the readers at retailers including AMT, Boots, Burger King, Clinton Cards, Pret, Spar and Subway, says Lloyds.
The move to contactless payments in London has been gathering pace, boosted by Transport for London's recent decision to upgrade all Oyster card readers across the capital to work at the touch of a bank-issued debit and credit card.
Philip Robinson, head, current account products, Lloyds TSB, says: "With the increasing trend towards debit card usage over cash, contactless debit cards provide customers with convenient payment options. The launch of contactless debit cards is another example of how Lloyds TSB is responding to customer needs through innovation."
Lloyds is following Barclays and Barclaycard into the market, which claim to have over 11 million contactless cards in circulation. Last year Bank of America's card unit MBNA and Virgin Money also both committed to rolling out the technology.
Dan Wass, head, debit cards, Barclays, says: "We welcome the announcement from Lloyds TSB that it plans to rollout one million contactless cards by the end of 2011. A growing number of card issuers and banks are following the lead of Barclays and Barclaycard which has already issued 11.4 million contactless cards in the UK. This growing user base means that contactless transaction volumes continue to grow rapidly, doubling every 6 to 8 months."