Boots UK goes contactless

Roll out sees all Boots UK stores accept contactless payments

London, 31 October 2013 - Boots UK, Visa Europe and WorldPay have confirmed today that customers will now be able to pay with their contactless cards at all Boots UK stores, following the successful completion of the roll out of contactless terminals.

UK consumers made over eight million contactless purchases in August 2013 with an average spend value of £6.55, according to the latest figures from Visa Europe. This growth has been driven by consumers becoming increasingly comfortable with using contactless technology, supported by a 23% increase year on year in the number of contactless cards and a 135% increase year on year in the number of contactless terminals.

Nigel Shortt, Head of Delivery - retail, Boots UK, said: “At Boots UK, we are continually looking for new ways to offer our customers great shopping experiences. Contactless payment saves time for both our customers and staff during peak trading periods by speeding up traditional card payment and reducing transaction and queue times. The initial stages of our roll out demonstrated that consumers enjoy the benefits of contactless payments and we are delighted that this is now possible in all Boots UK stores.”

Mark Austin, Director - Head of Contactless at Visa Europe said: “We continue to see rapid growth in the number of contactless payments made each month in the UK. Consumers and retailers alike are recognising the benefits contactless offers for every day payments and – as a result – are becoming more confident in using and offering the technology. It is great to see leading UK retailers, such as Boots UK, offering contactless payments and we are excited about other retailers coming on board in the remainder of 2013, and beyond.”

Ron Kalifa, Deputy Chairman at WorldPay, said: “Boots UK was one of the first retailers to trial contactless payments with its customers and with the national roll out now complete, joins a growing list of major brands backing this technology. Boots UK has put the tools in place to ensure the investment reaps rewards by both educating its staff on the facility and ensuring consumers are encouraged to use it, through point of sale and wider customer promotion. This support is vital in ensuring the experience is seamless and works for both customers and staff.”

Visa contactless payments are very secure and certainly much more secure than carrying cash. Visa contactless cards use the same secure technology as Chip and PIN and have a maximum purchase amount of £20 per transaction. From time to time, cardholders are asked to enter their PIN to verify they are the genuine cardholder and importantly, benefit from Visa’s promise that if a Visa card is lost or stolen, they are protected against fraud loss – providing they take reasonable precautions to protect their card and let their bank know as soon as they realise it’s gone.

Note to editors

  • As of August 2013 there are 30 million Visa contactless cards in the UK that can be used at 289,000 contactless enabled terminals
  • More than 5 million Visa contactless journeys have been made on London buses since December 2012
  • Other merchants accepting contactless payments in the UK include: M&S, Lidl, Costa Coffee, WH Smith, McDonalds, Post Office, Pret a Manger, Starbucks, Waitrose and Costcutter among others
  • Banks issuing contactless cards in the UK include: Barclays, Barclaycard, Capital One, Duncan Lawrie, HSBC, Investec, Lloyds Banking Group, MBNA, NatWest and RBS

About Boots UK

Boots UK is the leading pharmacy-led health and beauty retailer in the UK, with close to 2,500 Boots UK stores and around 60,000 employees. Boots UK’s purpose is to help customers look and feel better than they ever thought possible. Customers are at the heart of our business which is committed to providing exceptional customer and patient care, be the first choice for pharmacy and healthcare, offer innovative products 'only at Boots' such as the UK’s leading skincare brand No7, all delivered with the great value our customers love. Created over 160 years ago, the Boots brand is still at the heart of the communities it serves.

Boots UK is a member of Alliance Boots, a leading international, pharmacy-led health and beauty group delivering a range of products and services to customers. Working in close partnership with manufacturers and pharmacists, Alliance Boots is committed to improving health in the local communities it serves and helping its customers and patients to look and feel their best. Its focus is on growing its two core businesses: pharmacy-led health and beauty retailing and pharmaceutical wholesaling and distribution. Alliance Boots has a presence in more than 25* countries and employs over 108,000* people. Alliance Boots has pharmacy-led health and beauty retail businesses in nine* countries and operates more than 3,100* health and beauty retail stores, of which just over 3,000* have a pharmacy.

*Figures are approximate as at 31 March 2013 and include associates and joint ventures.

About Visa Europe

Visa Europe is a payments technology business owned and operated by member banks and other payment service providers from 37 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. It is not a credit card company, almost 80% of its business is on debit cards, and 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 470m 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 December 2012, over €1 trillion (1.05tr) was spent on Visa debit cards. Annual online spending on Visa cards in Europe topped €200 billion (€212bn) 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.