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News in-depth: Asda set to become latest UK retailer to roll out contactless payments
18 Apr 2012

Supermarket giant Asda is set to become the latest UK retailer to introduce contactless payment technology in its stores.

The Wal-Mart subsidiary has confirmed that contactless e-money payment terminals will be fitted in 25 of its outlets from July onwards after it agreed a deal with payment specialists Streamline and Visa Europe.

Shoppers at participating supermarkets will be able to pay for goods worth £15 or less without the need to enter their pin code as they can simply hold their contactless-enabled cards against the provided reader to complete the transaction in less than a second.

Consumers will soon be able to spend more on their contactless bank cards as the threshold for contactless payments is set to rise to £20 from 1st June.

The new technology is likely to reduce the length of queues, especially during peak periods, as transaction times are dramatically reduced.

Mark Austin, head of contactless at Visa Europe said: "The rollout of contactless technology by organisations like Asda is helping to set the scene for a major change in the way we pay.

"We're excited to be working with partners across the industry and remain committed to the rollout of Visa payWave to match the ever increasing uptake of Visa contactless cards by British consumers."

His comments were echoed by Matthew Rowsell, chief commercial officer at Streamline, who claimed that the move is the latest step in the "contactless revolution" and reinforces how "popular and necessary" the technology has become.

Asda are the latest firm to roll out contactless payment terminals, with rivals The Co-operative recently announcing that it will be promoting the technology at 175 stores, mainly within London and the surrounding area.

The move is designed to capitalise on the demand for contactless payments from spectators at this year's Olympic Games, with the trial set to be launched in May.

There are currently around 20 million contactless cards in circulation in the UK, with Visa set to release an additional ten million this year.

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