It has been reported that in the UK, 25 Wilkinson stores will be trialling contactless payments ahead of a potential roll out of the technology across its estate. With over four million customers a week, Wilkinson is the first in its sector to trial contactless and the payments system should allow many of its customers to purchase their items quicker and more easily.
As regular readers are no doubt aware, contactless allows users to pay for goods and services under £15 by simply holding their card on a reader without the need to enter a PIN or sign their name. Research carried out by Barclaycard and Barclays has revealed that shoppers are less inclined to wait in queues, with two fifths of us refusing to queue for longer than two minutes, and two-thirds of us regularly abandoning purchases. Additionally, half (51%) of shoppers refuse to even enter a store if they see a queue. The Wilkinson trial stores have been chosen because they experience high volumes of customers at peak times.
A spokesperson for Wilkinson, expects contactless to prove popular with customers:
“We know that many of our customers have to shop at peak times and this is when queues can occur. We believe contactless will help those customers who are under time pressure and wish to buy goods below the £15 threshold. Contactless also fits perfectly with our aim to constantly improve customer service and satisfaction by harnessing the latest retail technologies.”
Richard Armstong, head of UK payment acceptance at Barclaycard, was reported as saying, “The sheer quantity of transactions made across the UK at Wilkinson stores will have a major impact on the progression of contactless payments and by 2012 we expect contactless to be a mainstream payment technology. A growing number of the 11.4 million contactless Barclays debit card and Barclaycard-holders are using the technology to end the scrabble for change in their pocket, helping reduce the number of abandoned purchases for retailers. We are confident it will deliver great benefits to Wilkinson and its customers.”
By offering contactless payments Wilkinson will be joining other well known brands, including Little Chef, EAT., Prêt-A-Manger, The Co-Operative and Wembley Arena. Since the beginning of 2010 the number of contactless terminals has risen from 25,000 to 52,000 and the volume of contactless transactions has continued to grow rapidly, doubling every 6 to 8 months.
 2000 consumers polled in June 2010 by Populus; research commissioned by Barclays and Barclaycard