Those who share my skepticism of the future of contactless in the U.S.–or at least the hype surround it–may see the same thing going on in London where merchants have been slow to join the move to contactless.
I actually think contactless will take eventually off in London. Lots of Londoners have contactless cards that they use for transport on the tube. With the dense population of contactless consumers my guess is that merchants will find that there are enough consumers who would rather wave than swipe that they should spend a few extra pounds on contactless terminals.
Plus Royal Bank of Scotland and Barclays handle the bulk of the merchants and with these banks behind contactless they can make it happen. Maybe not right away but a lot sooner than in the United States.
Unfortunately, the problem in the United States is that outside of a few cities such as New York we don’t have a critical mass of consumers using contactless or merchants that see enough contactless cards to want to deploy terminals.
My guess is I’ll be using a contactless card to buy my coffee in London in a few years but that I’ll still be paying with cash or magstripe in Boston.
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Filed Under: Payments, Technology