Visa predicts 20 million UK contactless cards by end of year

Visa predicts 20 million UK contactless cards by end of year

The number of Visa contactless cards in use in the UK is expected to reach 20 million by the end of 2011, boosted by the roll out of NFC terminals at major outlets like McDonald's.

There were 13 million Visa payWave cards in circulation as of March, up from eight million last June, and the rate of growth is expected to pick up further as more issuing banks and retailers embrace the technology.

McDonald's has now deployed contactless terminals across its network of 1200 UK restaurants while Starbucks has committed to following suit. Meanwhile, Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Bank of America have all joined Barclays in issuing cards.

Transport for London's decision to upgrade the Oyster network, enabling travellers to use their Visa cards for journeys, will also drive adoption, says Visa. The system will be in place for buses from February with the tube following later in 2012.

Visa is also pushing contactless in the run up to the 2012 Olympic Games in London, for which it is an official partner.

Reigning world triple jump champion and member of Team 2012, Phillips Idowu tries out Visa contactless technology

Mark Austin, head, contactless, Visa Europe, says: "Contactless payments are building to a genuine tipping point due to a combination of critical factors - more banks are issuing cards, major retailers such as McDonald's are adopting the technology, and contactless travel infrastructure through Transport for London is being realised."

Comments: (7)

Melvin Haskins
Melvin Haskins - Haston International Limited - 07 June, 2011, 17:16Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Will VISA give those of us who are non-believers an option to have a non-contactless card? I do not want one. Does this mean that I have to give back all of my VISA cards?

The last thing that I need in a busy life is an arguement with a faceless organisation to discuss whether I used a contactless card at a specific location on a specific date, when they say I did and I say I didn't.

Mel Haskins

Keith Richbell
Keith Richbell - eftpos Payments Australia Ltd. (ePAL) - Sydney 08 June, 2011, 00:52Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Hey Mel - you could always pay by cheque.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 08 June, 2011, 08:231 like 1 like

There was a power cut at Thames Ditton station on Monday so one could not 'tap in' with Oyster. NFC is 100% electric dependent. SWTrains staff seated comfortably in the waiting room said 'no problem, there will be staff at Waterloo who know all about this and will make sure you don't overpay'. The response at Waterloo (surprise, surprise): 'never heard of no power cut, mister, you should have got a paper ticket, now tap out and pay the maximum fare or we'll give you an on-the-spot fine'. A typical face-to-face experience with a faceless organisation. The assumption was that the consumer was lying and trying to evade payment, and with no proof in one's hand, one is at the mercy of self-appointed monopolistic (Thames Ditton is only served by one train company) authority acting under their one-sided Terms and Conditions, which have to be accepted on pain of denial of service. As for Visa's statements, the timeless 'well he would say that, wouldn't he?' hits the mark, or, should I say, communicates with the near field?

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 09 June, 2011, 14:10Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Visa: "Well he would say that, wouldn't he?" Timeless.

MasterCard: "What's a few pounds here and there to keep pace with latest tech?" Priceless.

Mobile Phone Companies: "Why NFC cards when we're going to flood the market with NFC handsets?" Pointless.

Melvin Haskins
Melvin Haskins - Haston International Limited - 09 June, 2011, 17:01Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I'm not sure that I understand the comment from Keith Richbell in Sydney.

My concern is not how to pay, but the risk of Visa billing my account without my approval.

If I review my monthly statement from Visa and find items on it which I have not bought or approved, how do I contest these purchases if they have been made by someone (not me) waving their card over a contactless device?

I want the option of having a card from Visa that does not allow contactless payment.

Mel Haskins

 

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 09 June, 2011, 17:43Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

@Melvin H:

Whether the card is contactless or not, you'll be billed fraudulently only if someone other than you uses your card, not their card. In this case, contactless or not, you're protected by credit card fraud protection guarantee and the redressal process is well established. 

The only added risk I can see with NFC card is if your card gets accidentally charged as you were walking within a few inches past an NFC cardreader that was being rung up for someone else's purchase. This is likely to be a rare occurrence although, if it does happen, Visa will treat it as "first party fraud" and all those arguments you want to avoid will happen. 

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 09 June, 2011, 22:48Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

One cannot be sure of that. What if an unscrupulous individual developed a form of reader that they could secrete inside their overcoat using battery power? Then, on a crowded form of public transport, they could innocuously place themselves adjacent to other passengers whereupon, when the device detected a contactless card about the person of their fellow passenger, they would be alerted by a bleep into an earpiece, and could charge off 22p per card - try that on the 17.25 Waterloo-Guildford with every third commuter having such a card (20 out of 60, if Visa are to be believed) and you would be well in the money.

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