Woolworths to roll out contactless payment

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 9th June 2011

Woolworths Limited has announced plans to roll out contactless payment facilities across all its brands.

The payment system allows customers to use a Visa payWave card to leave the checkout without needing to enter a PIN or signature for transactions up to $100.

Woolworths said the system would make the shopping experience quicker and more convenient, and help reduce time spent waiting in checkout queues.

“We know how much our customers love to embrace new technologies and services that help make their life a little bit easier. They have well and truly adapted to self service checkouts and other in-store innovations and we hope contactless payment will be just as popular,” said Dhun Karai, Head of Group Financial Services at Woolworths.

“This move continues Woolworths’ extensive track record in developing innovative payment solutions for customers. We were the first to introduce contactless
payment facilities at our petrol stations in 2009 via our proprietary e-pump technology. Woolworths was also Australia’s first national retailer to implement
world class chip payments security as well as pre-swipe and the provision of PIN on credit card payments that have allowed our customers a faster and more secure service at the checkouts.”

Visa was also positive about the move.

“Consumers love the convenience of being able to pay with a contactless card and we are delighted that our cardholders will soon be able to benefit from the speed and security of Visa payWave at one of Australia’s leading retailers. This move demonstrates Woolworths’ commitment to payment innovation,” said Vipin Kalra, Visa’s Country Manager Australia.

Fast food giant McDonalds announced in November last year that it would adopt the payWave system, which allows payment without the consumer even having to remove the card from their bag or wallet.

“Visa payWave-enabled cards are as secure as any other Visa chip card and carry the same multiple layers of security, including Visa’s Zero Liability, which ensures Visa cardholders are not responsible for fraudulent or unauthorised transactions,” Visa Australia and New Zealand general manager, Chris Clark, told ZDNet at the time.

The cards use Radio Frequency identification (or RFID) technology, which is commonly used in pet tagging, passports and a variety of tracking applications, for packages, vehicles and goods. The security of RFID remains open to scrutiny.