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Barclaycard issues one millionth contactless card in UK

Barclaycard today announces that it has reached its target of issuing one million contactless cards in the UK. As well as this, all newly issued1 Barclaycard Platinum cards will now include contactless technology. The announcement comes as research shows that 98 per cent of contactless cardholders believe that contactless payments are easy to use and 88 per cent claimed that it enabled them to cut down the amount of time they would usually take to buy items such as a coffee.

Earlier this year Barclaycard announced its intention to issue over one million contactless cards and this target has now been exceeded. As well as newly issued Platinum cards, other cards already offering the technology include Barclaycard OnePulse and the cards recently issued to Goldfish and Morgan Stanley customers.

The research, which was carried out among 558 cardholders who had experienced using a Barclaycard contactless card to buy a coffee, is the first available data that aims to capture consumer perceptions of contactless technology on cards and establish their confidence in using the product. Encouragingly, many of those questioned, despite not having used a contactless payments card before, were able to recognise the benefits of the technology, including how easy it was to use and the time it could save.

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. The technology enables customers to benefit from a fast, secure and simple payment option for low value goods.

According to the findings, people are increasingly open to using contactless payments on low value items in their everyday lives with over half of respondents (51 per cent) claiming they would use a contactless card to pay for a coffee. In addition 48 per cent would use it to purchase a sandwich; 39 per cent a bottle of water and 37 per cent a newspaper.

The research also asked the respondents how often they used other contactless cards in their everyday lives and found that 80 per cent of those questioned used contactless technology (e.g. gym cards, Oyster cards on the Underground etc) at least once a day. Of all respondents 22 per cent claimed to use contactless cards four times a day or more. These statistics, coupled with the fact that 95 per cent of respondents claim to make at least one transaction a day of under £10, leaves Barclaycard confident that there is a very big consumer market that is not only suited to contactless, but is also familiar with the technology already. Barclaycard believes that as the demand for contactless increases, consumers will find the switch to the new payment technology seamless.

Amer Sajed, Managing Director of UK Cards at Barclaycard said: “We are delighted to have reached our target of issuing over one million contactless cards this year. More and more consumers are recognising contactless as a safe and secure way to pay, which not only saves them time, but is also easy to use. We continue to work towards making payments simpler for our customers and these research findings prove that consumers are positive about contactless payments and continue to embrace the technology.”

Recognising the growth of contactless payment, Pret A Manger, the high-street food chain, is the latest retailer to sign up to the new technology and is now offering contactless payment facilities to its customers across London. The company plans to roll out to all 178 of its stores in the next six months which means that consumers right across the UK will be able to benefit. Pret joins Barclaycard’s ever growing contactless network, with more than 6,000 outlets accepting contactless payments throughout the UK, including well known high street retailers Coffee Republic, EAT and Yo! Sushi and thousands of other independent retailers such as dry cleaners, shoe shops, leisure centres and bookshops.

For more information on Barclaycard’s contactless technology, consumers can visit the website www.barclaycard.co.uk.