Feeds

UK supermarket starts contactless payments

No touching

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Spar is going contactless, attracted by the four pence per transaction the company could save by not asking shoppers for their PINs.

The supermarket chain will roll out contactless payment kit to its 2600 stores over the next couple of years at a cost of £700,000, which it intends to recoup from the lower transaction fees that the card companies levy on contactless transactions, NFC Times reports.

Visa, for example, charges as little as a penny for a transaction worth under £2 if it's completed wirelessly. Less than a tenner and the cost is only 4p, compared to 8p for a chip and pin-secured transaction.

That saving isn't direct to the retailer, which works though a bank, but Spar thinks it can save 40 per cent on its transaction costs by going wireless.

The credit card companies are of course hoping wireless will replace cash transactions, rather than chip and pin. That's fine with Spar, which reckons that two per cent of every cash transaction goes into handling the money. So if someone is spending £2 then it's cheaper to take a wireless card - and there's all that tasty demographic profiling card payments enable.

Not that many people have wireless cards just yet, despite Barclays aggressively pushing wireless connectivity into all their cards. Someone has to take the plunge on contactless payments - and Spar looks set to do so.

Security isn't as much of an issue as people often think – transactions are pegged below £15 and users are asked for their PIN at random (based on usage patterns) so the capacity for fraud is minimal.

Given that the technology reduces costs for everyone (presumably at the expense of those driving all that cash around) there seems little reason not to look forward to contactless payments. Just don't hold your breath unless you do a lot of shopping at Spar. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Class war! Wikipedia's workers revolt again
Bourgeois paper-shufflers have 'suspended democracy', sniff unpaid proles
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.