Barclaycard set a target of issuing one million contactless cards in the UK earlier this year. The technology is currently available on the Barclaycard OnePulse card and the cards recently issued to Goldfish and Morgan Stanley customers. In addition, the bank says all newly issued1 Barclaycard Platinum cards will now include contactless technology.
The UK bank's faith in the technology has been bolstered by research conducted among 558 cardholders at the recent Thames Festival, in which 98% said the technology was easy to use and 88% claimed that it enabled them to cut down the amount of time they would usually take to buy items such as a coffee.
Contactless payments, which were first launched in the UK last September by Barclaycard, allow customers to purchase items of £10 and under without the need to enter a PIN or sign.
Barclays says its research demonstrates that people are increasingly open to using contactless payments on low value items in their everyday lives with over half of respondents (51%) claiming they would use a contactless card to pay for a coffee. In addition 48% would use it to purchase a sandwich; 39% a bottle of water and 37% a newspaper.
These statistics, coupled with the fact that 95% of respondents claim to make at least one transaction a day of under £10, leaves Barclaycard confident that there is a big consumer market for the technology.
To further its ambitions, the bank recently kicked off a prime-time TV advertising campaign
extorting the benefits of the technology.
Barclays has also signed a deal with ubiquitous high street food chain Pret A Manger which plans to introduce the technology across its 178-strong national store network over the next six months.
Barclays says 6000 outlets now accept contactless payments throughout the UK, including well known high street retailers Coffee Republic, EAT and Yo! Sushi and thousands of local independents such as dry cleaners, shoe shops, leisure centres and bookshops.