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Londoners to be guinea pigs for contactless payment

09 May 2007
Paying by credit card will be easier and more secure with contactless payment technologies to be rolled out from September, UK payments association Apacs has said.

The innovative payments technology will enable cardholders who bank with Halifax, HSBC and Lloyds TSB, among others, to pay for transactions worth £10 or less by simply touching their card to a reader.

Vending machines and shops will have the readers installed for rapid payment of small sums, although the £10 upper limit has been imposed to minimise the risk of fraudulent use.

Apacs and its partner are emphatic that the new payment system, to be rolled out across London postcodes in the City and Canary Wharf in the first instance, is secure.

"Consumers love the convenience, simplicity and security of being able to 'tap and go' when paying for everyday things such as newspapers, sandwiches and drinks," said MasterCard Europe's general manager John Bushby.

Other Londoners will be the next to benefit before nationwide implementation in 2008.

But the logistical challenge for card providers could be substantial, since issuers will be replacing all customers' debit and credit cards "to their own timescales".

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