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.
Households 'losing out' to energy firms
Each household in the UK is losing around £200 a year because energy firms are yet to cut bills in line with reduced wholesale prices, a report from uSwitch.com claims.The report, published today, claims that Britain's major energy suppliers are keeping the cost of household bills "inflated" despite recent price cuts across the industry which saw the average yearly bill drop by around £78.Recent...Read More
Automatic retirement challenged in European courts
A number of campaigners for those nearing or at retirement age have sought to clarify the UK legislation which allows companies across the country to force retirement on any employee at a predefined retirement age. Even though this system has been in place for many years in the UK there has been a legal challenge which has now ended up in the European courts.
The case is being brou...
Is obesity really costing the UK economy billions of pounds a year?
Junk food and convenience foods are coming under serious attack from many different parties as the obesity crisis in the UK continues to develop. While many may not realise, the obesity crisis costs the UK billions of pounds a year not least through the increased cost to the NHS.
Medical considerations as well as the ever increasing cost to the UK economy are behind a new move by th...
Royal Mail pays out £1 million a month in postal compensation
The Royal Mail has confirmed it has paid out around £1 million a month in compensation in 2009 to customers who "lost their post" in the system. This is yet another blow to the UK government which is trying to build up the reputation of the Royal Mail and improve the company's finances ahead of a possible sale in 2010. However, this has been one of the most controversial privatisations in recent...Read More
UK government to pay gap year students for foreign trips
The UK government, via the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, has today confirmed that up to 500 young graduates under the age of 24 will be paid to work in places such as Costa Rica, Borneo and Nicaragua, on projects which include building schools. While they will have to pay the first £1000 cost towards the trip and arrange their own flights and vaccines, they will be paid by the U...Read More