The Co-operative has become the latest bank to introduce contactless payments on credit and debit cards.
Co-operative Bank customers will be able to make purchases of up to £20 without entering a PIN number or putting their card into a payment terminal. The Co-op is planning to issue contactless payment cards to more than two million debit and credit card customers, giving them to all new customers and replacing people’s existing cards when they expire.
When the user holds a card over contactless-enabled Chip and PIN terminals, transactions are automatically added to a credit card bill or debited from a current account.
The Co-operative Group has installed terminals in 172 of its food stores within the M25, four in Manchester and right across its network of pharmacies.
HSBC and NatWest also offer contactless payments
Robin Taylor, head of banking at The Co-operative Bank said: ‘We’ve already had great feedback from customers who have been making contactless payments for goods in our food stores and pharmacy outlets so we’re looking forward to now bringing contactless technology to those customers who bank with us.’
Contactless debit and credit cards were first introduced in 2007 and there are now around 15m contactless cards in circulation in the UK. HSBC and NatWest are among the providers that are currently replacing existing cards with contactless cards.
Barclaycard unveiled a slightly different take on the contactless card with the launch of the PayTag in April 2012. This is a mini stick-on credit card, designed to be attached to a mobile phone and used at contactless terminals in the same way as contactless cards.
Contactless cards – consumers remain unsure
Recent research suggests that people are still reluctant to embrace contactless cards though. Mintel found that only 25% of contactless card holders are ever using them to make payments.
The research reveals only 5% of Brits have used a contactless card – while almost three times as many (14%) say they have been issued with a card and not yet used the contactless feature.
Mintel found that although 9 million consumers know they have a contactless card, 3.8 million are not sure, while the majority of people think they should only be issued on request.