‘Contactless debit cards’

January 23, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Barclays bank is yet again leading the way in introducing contactless cards. After the introduction last September of the OnePulse combined oyster, credit, and contactless card, it is now rolling out an exciting new contactless debit card.

From March, the large majority of debit cards issued or re-issued will have the contactless technology. By the end of 2009, the bank expects approximately three million customers to be using contactless debit cards. The technology enables customers to pay for purchases under ten pounds without the need for a PIN or inserting the card into a machine. Occasionally the customer may be asked for the PIN as a means of checking on their ID.

A spokesman for Barclays describes the cards as safe, quick, and convenient and also said that he expects them to be highly popular with their clients. Over eight thousand UK retailers, both independent and chain stores, accept the cards. This is, however, a relatively small number and you may have difficulty finding retailers who accept them outside London and the other large cities in the UK.

Barclays had hoped that by this April twenty thousand outlets would accept the cards. If you are interested in using these cards, you should watch out for the “ripple” logo which indicates where the cards can be used.

Contactless cards were rolled out in America in 2005 and in Asia and parts of mainland Europe in 2006. So far there have been no reports of contactless card fraud although customers have been advised to check their statements carefully and report any erroneous transactions despite the fact that the amounts are likely to be small.

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