Coles and Woolworths to introduce “contactless payment” for groceries

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 8th December 2011

Australia’s two leading supermarket chains, Coles and Woolworths, are rolling out a new card payment system which does not require a signature or a PIN number from the customer.

The system will comprise new Visa ‘payWave’ cards and upgraded payment terminals equipped with Ingenico pin pads.

The cards have an embedded antenna and microchip, enabling a contactless communication with the pinpad at the checkout. The cards will be used for credit or debit card purchases up to A$100.

Coles’ Finance Director, Tony Buffin said, “Customers rightly expect to be able to pay for their groceries in our stores quickly and with a minimum of fuss. This new payment technology means customers with a contactless enabled card can simply wave it in front of the pinpad terminal to instantly pay for any grocery shop under $100. And with state-of-the-art security built in customers will also have peace of mind that their personal information is safe.”

Woolworths Head of Group Financial Services, Dhun Karai said, “During the pilot phase, we saw approximately 50 per cent of all credit card transactions migrate to Visa PayWave. This represents a substantial shift, given the fact that approximately 80 per cent of Woolworths transactions under A$100 are made by credit card.”

The new contactless payment system will be tested at selected Coles stores next February, rolling out across all stores by July 2012. Woolworths said the payment system will also be rolled out during 2012.