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The UK’s contactless adoption is progressing well. A string of companies have already committed to contactless terminal rollout all at different stages of adoption. Frequent Announcements are being made with more companies making that all important commitment.

Companies committing themselves to contactless payment acceptance include, Subway, McDonald’s, Wilkinson’s, The Post Office and Cooperative, along with transport for London, which has already upgraded the London underground to accept contactless. Now First Group plans to invest in deploying approximately 8,000 contactless terminals across its fleet of buses.
This is no easy sell. The companies involved must be shown and believe in the benefits contactless can offer them. It was reported by First Group that investment totaling 27 million would be required to complete the project. This is no drop in the ocean and just demonstrates the serious amount of capital required to make that change.
Of course benefits are widely reported, not only does a contactless payment allow them to do away with cash handling and the cost implications associated with it, it also introduces the ability to integrate NFC (Near Field Communications). This further reduces investment required for standalone ticketing systems and is an opportunity that transport companies are eager to exploit.
It is good to see that there will be an array of places, which very soon will accept contactless payment cards. Currently acceptance of contactless payments remains relatively limited in the UK, announcements such as the one by First Group will be met with positivity from contactless payment card issuing banks and shows that the UK is well positioned to offer contactless payment applications on a mass scale.
I believe that the UK is doing extremely well to get everything in place to allow the Olympics to be used as a platform to increase awareness and educate on contactless abilities and showcase contactless applications and uses. Increasing the contactless terminal infrastructure will be key to allow contactless card owners to increase usage and drive the technology within the country forward.
For further ABI Research analysis on contactless adoption in the UK please see our Insights titled – Another UK Company Commits to Contactless Acceptance and Contactless Payment Wave to Hit the UK

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