The introduction of contactless
payment across the London transport
network will act as the catalyst for
the nationwide adoption of the
technology, according to ID Data

John Cooke, business development director at the secure plastic card and key fob solutions provider, believes that ‘wave and pay’ systems will become the norm in the next three to four years for most fast and low value transactions, as consumers realise the convenience and simplicity of contactless payment.

Cooke explained: “This development is likely to be pivotal in the widespread uptake of contactless payment solutions not only in London but across the UK. Whilst there has been some initial uptake and trialling within the retail sector, the integration of the technology with the existing payment infrastructure has often been through stand alone systems, so the mass market has yet to see the true benefits of wave and pay.”

In fact, as consumers become better informed and mass acceptance of the technology increases, contactless payment will not be restricted to debit and credit cards alone. The technology has the potential to be integrated with a range of alternative form factors such as mobile phones, watches, key rings or fobs, and dongles.

“Contactless offers an effective means of removing the payment obstacle for low cost transactions of up to £15 where the consumer is in a rush and doesn’t want to waste time queuing. During the average contactless transaction, the card communicates with the reader in just 0.5 seconds, compared to three to ten seconds for chip and pin and significantly more time during traditional cash payments, so is ideal for rapid and convenient payment especially in busy or peak periods,” concluded Cooke.

ID Data Cards, a member of the TALL Group of Companies, a secure paper, electronic payment and card provider, has been delivering MasterCard Paypass cards since 2007 and is developing new, affordable contactless payment solutions to meet the demand for the technology.