Liverpool takes lead on contactless payments


If you're hopping onto a bus in Liverpool this week you'll be able to leave your change in your wallet and pay for your journey just by waving a card.

PayPass Tap & Go' tech is being rolled out by Stagecoach Merseyside on its fleet of 200 buses, and will enable anyone with a MasterCard PayPass card to wave it near or on a reader to pay for their journey.

The launch is in partnership with RBS WorldPay and is supported by Commidea, a provider of credit card processing systems.

The technology enables consumers to pay for items or services of less than 10 in value, without having to enter a PIN. Other retailers such as Boots, will also be rolling out the technology in the coming weeks.

Matt Rowsell, head of business development at RBS WorldPay, said in a statement: "In the same way that Chip and PIN has revolutionised the way shoppers pay, contactless is the future of small ticket transactions. It is in line with customer preferences and gives retailers an ultra-low cost, fast and secure payment option at the tap of a card."

According to a study by RBS WorldPay, 76 per cent of retailers believed the technology would be cost effective and efficient. Specifically, 41 per cent believed that it would save time through faster transactions.

The study also showed that it would reduce the amount retailers lose through incorrect change being issued, which currently stands at 698 for newsagents and 739 for bars and restaurants.

The technology was viewed with suspicion by consumers when it first appeared in 2007, fearing that it would be less secure than Chip and PIN. Since then, the technology has been successfully rolled out by companies such as Pret A Manger and Coffee Republic.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.