Woolworths commits to Visa's contactless payments

Visa has signed supermarket giant Woolworths Limited (ASX:WOW) to roll out its contactless payment technology payWave across all of the company’s stores.

The payment capability would allow those with the payWave-enabled credit or debit cards to make contactless payments of up to $100 at any of Woolworths’ brands, which include Dicksmith Electronics and forthcoming Bunnings competitor Masters, once the technology is fully rolled out.

Woolworths head of group financial services, Dhun Karai, said the success of the chain’s self-service checkouts and its own e-pump contactless payment technology led the company to trial Visa’s technology.

As of March, the payWave technology had been available in some 20,000 retail outlets.

By contrast, competitor Mastercard also announced in March that its contactless payment technology PayPass was available at 35,000 retail outlets with 5.3 million enabled cards in circulation. Some chains offer both technologies for payment, including 7Eleven and McDonald’s.

Visa has also engaged recently in trialling a near-field communications (NFC) variant of its payWave technology in two short waves since 2007, including a more recent trial with ANZ beginning in March.

The month-long trial in March made the technology availability to select set of 50 ANZ employees in Sydney and Melbourne through a microSD card built into an iPhone case. The company has made no further announcements as to when either the bank or credit card giant would offer it more widely.

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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