Thanks to a system by Visa and Mastercard starting in September, UK consumers will be able to settle bills of less than Â£10 by holding up their credit and debit cards against a special secure reader. According to banking industry figures, there are more than 20 billion payments of Â£10 or less a year in the UK. Critics have questioned whether the system will be secure enough and warned it may lead to a rise in card fraud. The system got the go-ahead after Visa and Mastercard agreed on an industry standard for the technology they will use.
The companies that have signed up for the first phase of the programme are Royal Bank of Scotland, Halifax, Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, Barclaycard, Citi and Euroconex Technologies. Seven London postcodes (EC2, EC3, EC4, E1, E14, SE1 and SE16) will offer the system as well. Payment group Apacs said that more than five million contactless cards are expected to be issued by the end of 2008, and they will be accepted in more than 100,000 outlets.
News source: BBC News