It’s the step forward that many with a vested interest in making contactless payment a success have been waiting for. Talking to the parties involved, it is clear that a slow but steady stream of announcements of further retailers going live with similar integrated systems will follow.
While there is a long way to go to reach the penetration levels hoped for, Retail Week has spent a lot of time this week talking about what the future of retail technology might hold.
Perhaps one of the most interesting trends to come out of these conversations is the number of people working within the industry who are convinced that biometrics will replace other payment systems in the not-to-distant future.
It may seem far-fetched, but it fits with two themes that are being seen in retail. The first is that there appears to be no end to retailers’ willingness to shave extra time off the payment process and speed up queues. The second is that fraudsters, having chosen crime as a career, are not put off by fancy new anti-fraud measures that may disrupt their income streams temporarily.
Fingerprints and iris patterns are also hard to clone – though don’t assume that fraudsters won’t try. And a fingerprint swipe or iris scan only takes a moment, with no faffing around getting purses out of handbags and cards out of purses.
Of course, it could lead to a new topic of conversation at supermarket tills, with husbands moaning that their wives have waited until they were asked to pay before they take their gloves off.