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Contactless payment systems on the way

From next year supermarkets customers in the UK will be able to pay for their goods via a contactless payment system with the Co-op the latest major UK supermarket to sign up to the program. These cards, which are issued by Barclaycard and Visa, simply allow customers to pass their card across a sensor which will take their details and automatically deduct money from their accounts. No PIN numbers will be required for sales under £15 although sales in excess of this figure will need to go through the "normal channels".

It will be interesting to see how the public react to these contactless payment systems because ultimately, as with the Oyster card on the London Underground, they are commonplace in other areas of the UK economy. It will also be interesting to see whether the growing number of supermarkets currently looking to sign up to the system will push other retailers towards this efficient and relatively cheap, at least for retailers, payment system.

We have seen the introduction of various contactless payment systems in the past although many of these have fallen by the wayside due to a lack of public confidence. Whether this particular move, backed by Barclaycard and Visa, is different remains to be seen.

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