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Where next for contactless?

In the last week or so we have seen announcements from PKO Bank Polski and Intesa Sanpaolo about their plans to roll out contactless to their customers, with PKO Polski reporting that 6 million cards will be replaced in the project.

However, there do seem to be mixed views in the market about the short to medium term growth of contactless.

While some banks, such as these two or Barclays in the UK, believe that contactless is a good way to strengthen their relationships with their customers, and increase transactions volumes, there are still many banks who haven’t yet taken that first step.

Contactless cards are only valuable if they can be used. It will be interesting to see what effect initiatives like the one announced by Visa to enable 550 Coca-Cola vending machines at the Winter Olympics to accept Visa payWave will have on the growth of contactless and its value as a payment method of the future.

Banks have to make the decision about the best way to encourage their customers to remain loyal and active card holders – weighing up the possible benefits and customer demand against other initiatives they could choose to invest in.

Intesa Sanpaolo, PKO Polski and Barclays have embraced contactless and I wish them every success as they lead their respective countries’ drive towards the new technology.

Paul Love
Business Solutions Consultant