Marks and Spencer (M&S) has rolled out contactless payment systems to 644 of its UK stores, making it the country's largest contactless retailer as new forms of payment continue to change the retail market.
The company processes over 230,000 contactless transactions every week, which according to Visa Europe data is more than any other UK retailer. M&S says that one in seven (14 percent) of card transactions at the store are now completed using the contactless method.
While there remain concerns over the security of the technology, the benefit of the contactless system is that it allows customers to pay for items under £20 without having to key in a PIN number.
Richard Cooke, store manager at M&S Finsbury Pavement in Moorgate, London, said contactless payments now make up one in three of all the store's low-value card transactions.
"In busy central stores that receive a huge lunchtime rush, contactless payment is helping to revolutionise the customer experience. Self-checkout tills are already very popular, but contactless helps reduce queue times even further, giving customers a payment option that's even quicker than cash," he said.
The system of contactless payments, which first launched in 2007, is fast gaining traction, according to Visa. To date, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, MBNA, Newcastle Building Society and the Royal Bank of Scotland have all issued contactless cards.
Last week Starbucks announced it would be rolling out contactless systems nationally, and Boots is currently in the middle of introducing contactless payment systems to all its 2,500 UK stores.
Businesses already offering the fast-pay systems include Pret A Manger, Coffee Republic and Eat. Transport for London also offers the payment method to bus users.
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