Sainsbury's has said that customers can expect to start using contactless payments in the majority of its outlets by Christmas.
The supermarket chain has been notably behind the curve on rolling out the technology, especially as most consumers are comfortable paying in this way, either via bank cards or mobile devices using Android or Apple Pay.
The firm had promised that the rollout would take place this year and has now confirmed to V3 that it should be live in the majority of branches in the coming weeks.
“Our customers will find an expected item in the bagging areas soon. We are in the process of introducing contactless payments in our stores. It will be in the majority of Sainsbury’s Local stores by Christmas," the firm said.
Sainsbury's also promised the same in the firm's Twitter feed, but warned that some stores, possibly its larger ones, will have to wait until 2017 to receive the technology.
@jackwatson18 We’re looking to have this in many of our stores before year-end, with the rest going contactless early next year. Megan.— Sainsbury's (@sainsburys) November 2, 2016
The move will no doubt boost the amount being spent via contactless technologies in the UK, which passed £2bn in July alone, according to data from the UK Cards Association.
Miya Knights, global technology research director at analyst firm Planet Retail, told V3 earlier this year that Sainsbury's lack of contactless could well cost the company revenue as consumers now expect, and often prefer, to pay in this way.
“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 convenience stores compete,” she said.
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