[Jane Adams] As a journalist, I’m all too familiar with the nasty feeling that you don’t quite understand what you are writing about. Most of the time it works out OK. Not so, sadly, for the retail correspondent of the Observer last weekend in his article on Visa contactless payments.

There will be, he wrote, a Visa branded contactless payment pilot in London later this year. So far so good. I rang Visa this week and they were prepared to neither confirm nor deny, although there is no formal announcement out yet.

What was nice though was the Observer correspondent’s explanation of how it will work and just why there won’t be any supermarket checkouts left as a result of the system. I quote,

"Technology allowing shoppers to pay for low-cost products simply by touching their debit card on the item will be introduced in Britain later this year."

That’s quite some RFID chip he’s talking about there if I understand him correctly. You’d certainly want to peel your apple if there was a danger of ingesting an entire miniaturised wireless POS system embedded in it.

Actually, what might work though is to swipe the apple across your NFC enabled mobile phone.

Anyhow, he got it wrong, I’m disappointed to say. It’s going to be plain old normal contactless payments, as used increasingly in the US.

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