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U.K. grocer The Co-operative plans to introduce contactless payment in its stores nationwide, making it the first grocer in that country to do so.
The grocer will work with Northhampton, U.K.-based Barclaycard and Visa to launch a pilot in 100 Co-operative stores next year. Upon successful completion of the pilot, the chain will roll out the terminals to the majority of its food stores in time for the 2012 Olympics, which is being billed as a contactless event -- visitors are expected to experience the full convenience of contactless payment on transport, tickets and other low-value purchases.
“This is a great opportunity for The Co-operative to work in partnership with Barclaycard to become the first major food retailer in the U.K. to roll out this unique payment method,” said Sean Toal, commercial director, food retail at The Co-operative Group. “It has received an excellent reception from both customers and retailers where it has been launched overseas, and is ideal for our store portfolio.”
Contactless payment allows customers to make purchases of 15 pounds Sterling or less, without the need to enter a PIN or insert a card into a payment terminal. Once the card has been held over the contactless terminal, the secure transaction automatically adds the purchase to the customer’s credit card or debits it from the shopper’s current account.
“Contactless payment has huge benefits for our customers,” said Mark Hale, director of food IS for the grocer. “In essence, this innovative technology will mean increased customer choice and faster transaction speed, which will vastly improve the customer experience.”
Manchester, U.K.-based The Co-operative Group operates more than 5,000 retail trading outlets and employs more than 123,000 associates.