Following the successful contactless trials at the Royal Bank of Scotland headquarters, the company is rolling out contactless cards to its customers in London. The first transaction was ceremoniously made by a Formula 1 race car at a McDonald’s drive-thru in London. In addition to McDonalds, RBS has signed up merchants including “Oddbins and cafes, delis, pharmacies, bars and sandwich shops in the City of London.”
ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND FIRST IN UK WITH SUPERFAST WAY TO PAY
Formula 1 team makes first UK public contactless payment using RBS card technology
The RBS-sponsored AT&T Williams team made the first public contactless card payment in the UK using a RBS contactless debit card, roaring through the McDonald’s drive-thru in Billingsgate in London to grab a Big Mac. Contactless, the new way to pay, means people can now make fast payments for items up to £10 simply by touching their specially-enabled RBS contactless debit or credit card on an RBS terminal – no need to fish around for change, hand a card over to anyone or swipe a card.
The purchase at McDonalds marks the start of the roll-out of contactless cards in the UK. Contactless cards make paying easier and faster than with regular cards and cash. The hamburger was paid for simply by placing a RBS contactless card on the reader. Paying for the order took just a few seconds. RBS’ trial of the cards showed that they can halve the time taken for a cash transaction.
Iain Clink, Managing Director, Cards and Direct Finance at The Royal Bank of Scotland says: “Having been the first in Europe to trial contactless cards means we know that everyone wins with this new way to pay. People love the convenience and speed of the card as well as the freedom from worrying about whether they have enough change for everyday things like morning coffee, a newspaper or a sandwich at lunchtime. Retailers like contactless cards too because they make paying faster which means faster moving queues and happier customers.”
Ivan Brooks, Vice President, Chief Information Officer at McDonald’s UK says: “We are delighted to be facilitating the first public contactless card payment in this country and this is another step for us in modernising and evolving the business. We are constantly looking at ways to improve the overall customer experience and the speed and simplicity of paying for McDonald’s food in this way is one element of this. Contactless payment will be available in 12 of our London restaurants by the beginning of October and eventually we hope to roll this technology out further across the country.”
In addition to McDonalds, RBS has already signed up other retailers including Oddbins and cafes, delis, pharmacies, bars and sandwich shops in the City of London and on the South Bank of the Thames where the new technology is being introduced to allow customers to use contactless cards to make cash-free low value purchases. These retailers will start to use the new technology from September.
RBS employees in Edinburgh and London were the first to trial the new cards in the UK, using them at retailers in the bank’s headquarters and one of its London offices and since the trial started in June 2006 over 52,000 purchases have been made. In early November, RBS will start to issue several hundred thousand contactless debit and credit cards to RBS, NatWest and MINT customers who live or work in the London roll-out area. In the meantime, RBS has today launched a website for customers to register their interest in receiving a contactless debit or credit card -www.rbscontactless.com
Contactless cards use existing radio wave card technology. When the contactless card is placed in very close proximity to the terminal, it transmits data from the customer’s card to the retailer’s card reader. The technology is proven, secure, reliable, simple and easy to use. A contactless card replaces a customer’s standard card, allowing customers to make contactless purchases up to £10 and normal chip & PIN purchases above £10 all with the same card.