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Visa Europe and Streamline confirm further contactless payment rollout for Boots UK stores

London, 13 February 2013: Visa Europe and Streamline have today confirmed further roll out for contactless payment through their partnership with Boots UK stores. The announcement follows a successful initial launch which has seen over 600 of the largest Boots UK stores begin to offer contactless payments to customers including London stores zone 1-4. All Boots stores in the Republic of Ireland now offer this method of payment.

The contactless technology provided by Visa Europe and Streamline allows customers to simply tap the reader with their contactless enabled card when making payments of up to £20. Payments are made in less than a second.

Jonathan Vardon, IT Director, Boots UK commented, "We are very pleased that our contactless payment roll out is making good progress. Our aim is to offer customers a great shopping experience with quick, easy ways to pay and we believe that contactless payment is one way to deliver this as the technology has helped to reduce transaction and queuing times. We know that our customers want us to offer an unrivalled choice of services and products and we hope they will enjoy the benefits of using contactless technology in our store."

Mark Austin, Head of Contactless, Visa Europe said: "2012 was a tipping point for UK contactless transactions which increased over the course of the year to more than 2.5 million a month. We’re predicting that transactions will grow fourfold over the course of 2013, thanks to the rollout in retailers like Boots UK, Marks and Spencer and McDonald’s, as well as all of London's buses."

Darren Wilson, Managing Director, Streamline, said, "Contactless technology is becoming increasingly popular on the high street as an efficient alternative to carrying cash. As the number one card acquirer in the UK and Europe, we have seen volumes of contactless transactions increase six-fold in the past year and are regularly processing over two million contactless transactions per month. I see contactless as an essential strategic development for large retailers such as Boots and consumers alike, and through adoption of this acceptance method by Boots, we expect transaction volumes to grow rapidly in 2013."

Visa’s predictions for contactless payments:

  • Visa contactless card numbers for the UK this year will reach 34 million (70 million across Europe)
  • Contactless terminal numbers for the UK this year will reach 175,000 (650,000 across Europe)
  • By 2020, 50% of the transactions on the Visa network will be made via a mobile device

About Visa Europe

Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 36 countries across Europe.

Visa Europe works at the forefront of technology to create the services and infrastructure which enable millions of European consumers, businesses and governments to make electronic payments. Its members are responsible for issuing cards, signing up retailers and deciding cardholder and retailer fees.

Visa Europe operates a high volume, low cost business model that provides services to its members. Its surplus is reinvested into the business and used to improve capital and reserves. In the last six years, Visa Europe has invested over €1 billion in new technology and infrastructure.

There are 466m Visa cards in Europe while €1 in every €6.75 spent in Europe is on a Visa card. Almost 80% of Visa Europe's business is on debit cards and, in the year to September 2012, over €1 trillion (€1.02bn) was spent on Visa debit cards. Annual online spending on Visa cards in Europe topped €200 billion (€202bn) for the first time in this period and now accounts for more than 20% of Visa Europe’s processed business.

Since 2004, Visa Europe has been independent of Visa Inc. and incorporated in the UK, with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe. Both companies work in partnership to enable global Visa payments. As a dedicated European payment system Visa Europe is able to respond quickly to the specific market needs of European banks and their customers - cardholders and retailers - and to meet the European Commission’s objective to create a true internal market for payments.

For more information, please visit www.visaeurope.com.

About Boots UK

Boots UK is a member of Alliance Boots, an international pharmacy-led health and beauty group. Boots UK is the UK’s leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer. Our purpose is to help our customers look and feel better than they ever thought possible. We have close to 2,500 stores from local community pharmacies to large destination health and beauty stores.

Our stores are located in convenient locations and put the pharmacist at the heart of healthcare. Our pharmacists are well placed to provide a significant role in the provision of healthcare services, working closely with other primary healthcare providers in the communities we serve.

About Streamline

Streamline is the UK’s leading card payment acquiring business which allows customers to accept card payments at point of sale, over the phone and the internet. The company offers services across the entire payment value chain, including transaction capturing, merchant acquiring and transaction processing.

Clients vary in size from small family run companies to large multi-national corporations, spanning a broad spectrum of industries and sectors. Streamline is part of the WorldPay group of companies; one of the top five global players in card processing.