Faster transactions by card without pin

Wed, Aug 8, 2012, 01:00

IRISH CONSUMERS carry around €78.2 million in cash every day and collectively spend nearly 11 million minutes standing in queues daily, according to new research published by a credit card provider yesterday.

Visa Europe is introducing a new debit card which has been backed by large banks in the US. It works without pin numbers for small transactions and Visa says it will dramatically reduce the time we spend queuing and the cash we need to carry.

It has published a study to bolster its case, showing the typical consumer here carries €23 in cash. We also continue to be the highest users of ATMs, with an annual figure of more than double the EU average. And the Irish spend 11.2 million minutes – 21 years – queuing in shops daily. The most common places are shops, petrol stations and fast-food outlets.

The research was conducted for the company’s roll-out of contactless payment technology in Ireland, which has started to appear in retailers including Centra, Spar, Eurospar and Mace.

In the UK, major retailers such as McDonald’s, Pret a Manger and WH Smith have adopted it. According to Visa, when McDonald’s introduced contactless payments it benefited from faster transactions, greater customer satisfaction, enhanced security and reduced cash handling costs.

“Instead of fumbling for change at the till, people will simply be able to wave their card over the terminal and pay instantly,” said Conor Langford, vice-president of Visa Europe in Ireland.