Virgin Money has announced that it is to launch contactless payments on all of its credit cards.
All two million credit cards issued by Virgin will be replaced with cards containing contactless technology, allowing its customers to pay for items worth up to £15 without entering their Pin.
- UPDATE: MBNA has also now confirmed that it will join Virgin in rolling out contactless technology. More than five million cards issued by MBNA will be enabled with contactless technology by the end of 2011.
The move reflects growing consumer use of contactless technology, pioneered in recent years by Barclaycard and adopted early by retailers including Pret A Manger and Eat. The coming year is expected to see a major expansion of the technology across the UK, with more leading retailers including Boots, the Co-Op and Little Chef announcing plans to install terminals.
How does contactless card technology work?
Customers can pay for items worth £15 or less simply by holding their card against a scanner in stores, rather than having to enter their Pin. Grant Bather of Virgin Money said: ‘Contactless payment is fast, secure and convenient, enabling customers to cut down time queuing.’
When customers first receive the card they need to make an initial chip and Pin transaction in order to activate the technology. And to further enhance security they will occasionally be asked to enter their Pin. Cards can be used as normal if retailers do not have contactless terminals installed.
Get the best deal on your credit card and personal loans
Martyn Saville, Which? credit card expert, commented: ‘Contactless technology makes using a credit card in-store much quicker and more convenient for small purchases. It’s really important, though, not to choose a credit card just because it offers contactless purchases – the deal itself has to be competitive.
‘When I’m looking for a competitive deal on my shopping, I’ll start by choosing one of the best 0% on purchases credit cards on the market. Contactless technology is an added bonus, not a prerequisite.’
Which? Money when you need it
You can follow @WhichMoney on Twitter to keep up-to-date with our Best Rates and Recommended Provider product and service reviews.
Sign up for the latest money news, best rates and recommended providers in your newsletter every Friday.
Or for money-saving tips, and news of how what’s going on in the world of finance affects you, join Melanie Dowding and James Daley for the Which? Money weekly money podcast
For daily consumer news, subscribe to the Which? news RSS feed here. And to find out how we work for you on money issues, visit our personal finance campaigns pages.