Another piece in the jigsaw has fallen into place to make contactless payments commonplace at London 2012 as HSBC becomes the latest high street bank to begin rolling out contactless cards. As of May 2012 HSBC are issuing contactless type cards to their customers when their debit cards expire, unless they specifically contact the bank to request a traditional chip and PIN card.
Like customers of other banks who have received contactless cards, they will now be able to spend up to £15 where merchants have ‘wave and pay’ facilities and this is to increase to £20 from 1st June.
This is the latest development in preparation for streamlined contactless payments to be in widespread use across London in time for the Olympic games. Every official terminal at the Olympics is to be contactless but that’s not all:
- Transport for London are offering contactless payments on all their buses as well as on the tube and overground network
- The McDonalds restaurant on the Olympic site is contactless
- More than 2000 London cabs will be contactless
- Greggs, the Co-op, Boots, Superdrug, Subway, Wilkinson’s, Pret A Manger are all offering contactless payments in London in time for the games
The UK banks that are now rolling out contactless cards include:
Nearly all Barclaycard cards are now contactless and Lloyds alone expects to have rolled out 2 million contactless cards by the Olympics.
Contactless payments are currently the fastest form of payment, faster than cash and as such will be a big boost in making the Olympics run more smoothly. They mean punters will spend less time queuing for refreshments and merchandise and more time enjoying the events.
There have been security issues raised as contactless payments, by their very nature, are made without entering a PIN. However the banks issuing them claim customers enjoy the same level of protection against fraud as they do with Chip and PIN.