Douglas Group goes contactless in Germany

All German stores to accept Visa as of spring 2013

Frankfurt am Main, 18 January 2013 — In spring 2013 a fresh breeze sweeps through German retail stores: DOUGLAS Group will accept contactless and mobile payment in all chain stores in Germany. After a test run in December, the changeover of the terminals will start in January 2013 and will be completed by the end of Q1 2013. Customers are provided a quick and comfortable payment method with their Visa card or smartphone at all 3,500 terminals at the stores of the DOUGLAS Group. This also applies to contactless payments via V PAY. The modern and safe payment option will soon help to eliminate queues in the stores of the Douglas perfumery, Thalia bookshops, Christ juwellery stores, AppelrathCüpper fashion boutiques and Hussel confectionery shops.

"We find it correct and favourable that more and more German banks decide to issue Visa cards with NFC technology. We know from experience that our clients appreciate the comfortable and useful payment via contactless technology. Therefore it seems natural for us to quickly establish the acceptance of NFC-enabled Visa cards in our German chain stores", says Olaf Schrage, Director of the Douglas Informatik & Service GmbH.

Up to an amount of €25 customers can pay contactless or mobile without entering a PIN or providing a signature. The search for small change is a thing of the past. For payments over €25 the cardholder confirms the transaction by entering a PIN or providing a signature. In both cases, he simply holds the card or smartphone in front of the terminal.

"With a transaction speed of less than a second, contactless is the fastest card payment method that makes shopping even more comfortable. Contactless and mobile payment with Visa in the chain stores of the DOUGLAS Group is a huge step forward for the acceptance of this new technology. We are convinced that many customers will make use of this new service and benefit from it", says Ottmar Bloching, General Manager of Visa Europe in Germany.

Contactless payments with Visa are based on the Visa payWave technology, which has been implemented in the new ICP-BIA terminals that Douglas is going to implement next summer.

About contactless payments with Visa

Contactless payments with Visa use the communication technology Near Field Communication (NFC). Transactions are being processed based on the secure EMV standard. It can be used for contactless as well as mobile payments, which is convenient for both cardholders and merchants.

There are 50 million contactless Visa cards across Europe and cards can be used at more than 540,000 contactless terminals around Europe. In Germany seven banks are issuing 500,000 contactless Visa cards: BW-Bank, comdirect, DKB, LandesBank Berlin, TARGOBANK, Volkswagen Bank and Postbank. By the end of 2013 another 1.5 million cards will be in the German market.

Especially in market segments where customers buy small goods, merchants profit from contactless payments with Visa. The terminal processes the transaction quickly offering merchants the opportunity to reduce queues at the counter and increase customer satisfaction.

Visa contactless cards are ready for use and do not need to be charged in advance. Up to an amount of 25 € contactless payments can be made with Visa without entering a PIN or providing a signature. The card holder does not have to give his card out of his hand anymore. He simply holds the contactless Visa card in close proximity in front of the terminal. Every card owner receives a detailed overview of his purchases with his monthly statement. This way he has full control of the payments. More over contactless cards can be used internationally.

About Douglas Group

With annual sales of more than EUR 3 billion the DOUGLAS Group ranks amongst the leading European retailers. As a company listed in the MDAX the DOUGLAS Group represents “Excellence in Retailing” – with outstanding service, top quality products, an experiential store ambiance, and the friendliest employees in the business. The Group’s five retail divisions –Douglas perfumeries, Thalia bookstores, Christ jewelry stores, AppelrathCüpper fashion stores, and Hussel confectioneries – are among the market leaders and trendsetters in their respective sectors. The more than 24,000 employees provide a high level of service in the 1,900 specialty stores. In its state-of-the-art online shops the DOUGLAS Group also offers its outstanding service on the Internet.