Boots is to roll out contactless payments across its stores nationwide, in a deal with payment providers Visa Europe and Streamline.
The news follows the successful pilot of contactless payments systems in 600 of Boots' largest stores, which allow customers to tap the reader with their cards for payments under £20.
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Jonathan Vardon, IT director at Boots, said: “Our aim is to offer customers a great shopping experience with quick, easy ways to pay and we believe that contactless payment is one way to deliver this as the technology has helped to reduce transaction and queuing times.”
Mark Austin, head of contactless payments at Visa Europe, said UK contactless transactions increased in 2012 to more than 2.5 million a month.
The payments company estimates that 34 million customers in the UK will have the company’s contactless cards this year, reaching 70 million across Europe.
Visa said contactless terminal numbers for the UK this year will reach 175,000. It predicts that by 2020, 50% of the transactions on the Visa network will be made via a mobile device.
However, there are issues around mobile providers not wanting to roll out NFC-enabled devices until there is a market for them. And retailers are still reluctant to overhaul payment systems until the consumer demand is there. For example, Apple has yet to release an iPhone with contactless payment.
Meanwhile m-commerce has become a booming area of growth in the consumer market, with retailers having singled out this area a key area of IT investment . Sales through mobile devices and tablets were up 304% on 2011, according to research from the IMRG Capgemini e-Retail Sales Index.