[Dave Birch] The roll-out of contactless payment cards in the UK got a big boost when Barclayss announced that it would be converting several million cards this year.

From March, most Barclays debit cards that are issued or reissued will have contactless technology built in as standard. More than 3 million customers are expected to be using contactless debit cards by the end of the year.

[From Barclays to roll out contactless debit cards to all customers | 6 Jan 2009 | ComputerWeekly.com]

I’m still not seeing too many terminals out there, though, and I’m still concerned that I’m not seeing terminals in the places where cash replacement makes the most sense (car parks, that kind of thing). Still, where contactless is being used already, both at retail POS and in transport, it does seem to deliver the claimed benefits — speed and convenience — so we should be seeing more terminals soon. Actually, I’ve already seen lots more terminals: I’ve noticed that many of the ticket machines on South West Trains in England now have contactless interfaces installed. They don’t actually work yet, but let’s not run before we can walk!

This is the sort of thing that will be discussed at SMi’s Retail and Transport cards conference in London on 13th and 14th May. I’ll be there helping to run a contactless boot camp, designed to help retailers and others who are new to contactless to understand the technology and where it is going, on May 12th.

Incidentally, the wonderful people at SMi have given me a delegate pass for this event — worth an astounding ONE THOUSAND SEVEN HUNDRED AND NINETY EIGHT pounds plus VAT — to give away on this blog as a competition prize. So if you are going to be in London on those dates and you’d like to come along to hear some of the leaders in the field discussing cards in the retail and transport sectors, then all you have to do is be the first person to respond to this post with the name of the major British retailer that was founded in Leeds by a Russian-born Polish refugee, Michael Marks.

In the traditional fashion, this competition is open to all except for employees of Consult Hyperion and members of my immediate family, is void where prohibited and contains no added sugar. The prize must be claimed within three months. Oh, and no-one can win more than one of the Digital Money Blog prizes per calendar.

These opinions are my own (I think) and presented solely in my capacity as an interested member of the general public [posted with ecto]

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