London Sticks Its Toe in the Contactless Payment Waters
In September, London will launch its first large-scale contactless payment trial, with 2,000 retailers participating.In mid-September, London will launch its first large-scale contactless payment trial, with some 2,000 retailers slated to participate. Although Europe has more aggressively embraced various wireless technologies than the United States, it has sharply lagged the United Statesand certainly parts of Asiain contactless payment. "As in many major cities across Europe, millions of people across London use contactless ticketing on public transport. However, when it comes to contactless payments, challenges remain with regard to business models and partnerships," said Jonathan Collins, an RFID senior analyst with ABI Research. "Before many European retailers commit to upgrading their POS [point-of-sale] terminals to accept contactless, they will need to be convinced that the investment is in their interests. Early European rollouts, combined with experience of advanced deployments around the world, will be key."
Next months trial is being coordinated with eight leading U.K. banksincluding Barclays and the Bank of Scotlandbut its not clear which retailers will cooperate, Collins said. "There are still discussions about which [merchants] will come on board," he said.