National retailer Woolworths this afternoon revealed plans to roll out the incoming generation of contactless payment facilities across all of its brands, providing yet another validation of the technology which has already been adopted by several major banks.
The rollout will allow customers of the company’s various brands — Woolworths, Big W, Dick Smith, Tandy, BWS, Dan Murphy’s and more — to use cards equipped with VISA’s payWave technology to make payments by waving their cards at a terminal in stores, rather than waiting for a PIN or signature. The technology allows for amounts up to $100 to be transferred.
“We know how much our customers love to embrace new technologies and services that help make their life a little bit easier,” the company’s head of group financial services Dhun Karai said in a statement issued this afternoon. “They have well and truly adapted to self-service checkouts and other in-store innovations, and we hope contactless payment will be just as popular.”
The company already has contactless payment facilities at the petrol stations it operates in cooperation with Caltex, courtesy of its ‘e-pump’ technology, while arch-rival Coles is also examining a wider rollout of the technology after conducting a limited trial.
A number of major Australian banks — such as the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and the National Australia Bank — are already far down the path of offering contactless functionality via merchant terminals in retail outlets around the nation.
In addition, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group is pushing the technology even further — conducting a trial of a contactless payments system using Apple iPhones. The onset of near-field communications devices in mobile phones — particularly those based on the Android platform — is also expected to push the technology further in the coming years.
“Consumers love the convenience of being able to pay with a contactless card, and we are delighted that our cardholders will soon be able to benefit from the speed and security of Visa payWave at one of Australia’s leading retailers,” said Visa’s Australian country manager Vipin Kalra in Woolworths’ statement. “This move demonstrates Woolworths’ commitment to payment innovation.”