Feeds

UK supermarket starts contactless payments

No touching

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
BBC: We're going to slip CODING into kids' TV
Pureed-carrot-in-ice cream C++ surprise
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Twitter: La la la, we have not heard of any NUDE JLaw, Upton SELFIES
If there are any on our site it is not our fault as we are not a PUBLISHER
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?