Contactless flies High

Thursday, January 22, 2015

After a very slow start contactless card usage is now accelerating rapidly in the UK, driven by many large retail chains installing contactless card readers at all of their checkouts/payment points, at the same time as card issuers offering contactless as standard when they reissue cards. Also of significance in the adoption acceleration was Transport for London’s decision to scrap cash on its fleet of buses in favour of contactless bank cards, followed by adding contactless acceptance right across the tube network. Therefore this Christmas we can safely predict record number of contactless transactions to be performed in the UK.

Here at STS we were proud back in 2011 to kick off the UK’s first nationwide contactless acceptance rollout at the world’s leading food service provider. We intend to remain at the forefront of contactless developments and have enhanced our contactless solution, Touchlink, to support new High Value contactless transactions.

High Value transactions are performed using smartphones that include the latest NFC wireless communication technology. Thanks to this latest innovation the £20 contactless transaction ceiling no longer needs to restrict cardholders.

If a transaction is to exceed the £20 limit then the cardholder is offered a choice of: either pre-entering their secure passcode (PIN) on their phone while waiting in the checkout line, before making a single tap at the till to complete the payment process; or alternatively they can follow a double tap transaction process with the first tap confirming the transaction amount, followed by entering their passcode (PIN) on their smartphone and then making a second tap to pass on the authentication details and to complete the transaction.

The STS development team has extended the capabilities of Touchlink in accordance with the latest Visa payWave and MasterCard Mobile PayPass standards to support the additional verification and authentication fields and transaction messaging requirements set out by the international payment networks.

We are currently busy working with POS application partners to roll out High Value contactless capabilities and expect to see several implementations in the first half of 2015 following the completion of systems integration and card scheme accreditations. Do get in contact today so that you too can offer this payment option.