Sainsbury’s has told V3 that it will start offering contactless payments “this year”.
The supermarket chain is one of the most notable retailers yet to adopt contactless payment technology, despite huge uptake by the public. Over £1bn was spent via contactless methods in January alone, according to the UK Cards Association.
Sainsbury’s was reported to have been on the cusp of rolling out contactless technology last year, but this did not take place. V3 asked Sainsbury’s why but received no information, despite several requests.
The firm did tell us that it intends to roll out support for contactless payments in 2016. “Contactless will be launching this year,” a spokeswoman told us.
Sainsbury's official Twitter account has promised that the company will begin "trialling" the technology in May.
@CeriEHolmes Hi Ceri. We'll be trialling contactless payment (including Apply Pay) in May. Thanks, Naomi.— Sainsbury's (@sainsburys) April 17, 2016
However, when V3 asked Sainsbury's for more information on these trials we were told the information was "incorrect".
Miya Knights, global technology research director at analyst firm Planet Retail, told V3 that the lack of contactless technology shows how "behind the curve" Sainsbury’s has become and that it could well cost business at smaller outlets.
“How important speed of service is will decide how much of a determining factor contactless is to each customer. But I can’t imagine that it’s helped Sainsbury’s Local format of convenience stores compete,” she said.
Knights added that Sainsbury’s has “all the components in place” to accept contactless payments but for reasons unknown has not turned it on.
Again V3 asked whether this was the case and why there had been such a long delay, but no information was forthcoming.
Sainsbury's is the only major supermarket chain not to offer contactless payments.
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