High-street retailer Boots is to trial contactless payment technology for products and services under £10.
The terminals will be rolled out in partnership with MasterCard and RBS WorldPay by the second half of 2009 across 15 stores in London and six in Liverpool.
Contactless equipment allows consumers to hold up cards enabled with the technology to a reader to make purchases without the need to enter a PIN code.
More than 8,000 retailers have rolled out contactless terminals, including branches of Pret A Manger, Coffee Republic, Books etc and Threshers.
To date, implementations of contactless readers in the UK have mainly been in and around London. The 2012 Olympic Games have been a catalyst for a range of contactless payment projects sponsored by banks, including schemes that aim to speed up the payment of cab fares and parking tickets.
According to experts, adoption of the “touch-and-go” readers by large retailers is crucial for the development of the technology, as is the deployment of contactless kiosks in locations that would make a real difference for consumers.
“Currently, contactless terminals are in the wrong places. Adding the technology where you can already make card payments is great, but contactless needs to be introduced where cash payments are a nuisance - vending machines, for example,” payments expert Dave Birch, a director at supplier Consult Hyperion, told Computing last month.
Barclaycard said it welcomed the RBS-Mastercard deal with Boots.
“Contactless is the future of payments and we are pleased to see that other card issuers and retailers are following our lead in the market," said Amer Sajed, managing director of UK cards at Barclaycard.
"Consumer feedback highlights the increasing demand for contactless payments and we hope other retailers will follow Boots and introduce contactless payment facilities in store in our continuing aim to achieve a contactless Britain,” said Sajed.