Major UK Retailer Marks & Spencer Adopts Contactless
Marks & Spencer, one of the UK’s largest retailers, is reportedly the latest merchant to adopt contactless payment.
The retailer, which sells clothing, food and home products, among other merchandise, has added contactless to its 25 busiest stores in London, according to reports. Marks & Spencer has 700 stores in the UK and would be one of the first tier-one merchants to roll out the technology.
There are more than 100,000 contactless point-of-sale terminals in the UK, but most are with small merchants, largely paid for by such contactless backers as Barclays bank and its Barclaycard unit, which is a large UK issuer and acquirer. Competing acquirer Streamline is reportedly handling the contactless rollout at Marks & Spencer.
More large UK merchants are beginning to adopt the technology. Such tier-one merchants as McDonald’s has rolled it out. And the UK Post Office said in May it would begin equipping 11,500 branches and 30,000 terminals to accept contactless nationwide–making it the largest merchant to date to embrace the technology in the UK. Transport for London plans to equip more than 8,000 buses to accept contactless bank cards to collect fares by the end of the year.
Marks & Spencer has already held trials of contactless. Besides the 25 busy London stores, the retailer has reportedly started accepting contactless at some of its Simply Food outlets.
Visa Europe predicts there will be 30 million contactless cards on issue in the UK by the end of the year.