Contactless arrives for business customers

09 Mar 2010 11:57 GMT

Barclays has become the first bank in Europe to launch commercial contactless debit cards to its business customers. From March, all Barclays Business customers receiving new or re-issued cards will find that they come with contactless technology as standard. This enables them to pay for low value transactions by holding the card over a reader, without the need to enter a PIN or insert the card into a terminal.

Over six million people in the UK already have a contactless-enabled Barclays VISA debit card or Barclaycard credit card since the bank became the first in the UK to begin rolling-out the technology to its personal customers in 2007. The maximum limit for contactless card transactions increased recently from £10 to £15 in line with demand from retailers and customers, widening the appeal of the technology.

Brian Cunnington, Head of Debit Cards for Barclays said: “We work with a large number of small and medium businesses in the UK so we have a good understanding of their day-to-day banking needs. Introducing contactless-enabled debit cards to this group of customers will provide a practical alternative to other payments such as cash and cheques and will help to make managing their money a little more convenient by making it easier to keep records of small expenses, traditionally paid for by cash.”

Marc O’Brien, Managing Director, Visa UK added: said: “Barclays and Barclaycard have been leading the industry with the roll-out of contactless payment technology and we are seeing usage increase rapidly as customers realise the benefit of being able to pay for transactions quickly, securely and conveniently. We firmly believe that contactless is the future of payment technology. 2010 looks set to be a major year – we expect millions more customers will be issued with contactless-enabled cards with many more retailers beginning to accept the technology in their outlets.”

Barclays has produced a video, available to view on, explaining what contactless is, why Barclays is leading the industry in its roll-out of contactless cards and how and where contactless can be used.

More information about Barclays contactless payments can be found at and

Notes to Editors:

Notes to editors:

- Contactless allows customers to pay for transactions of £15 or less by holding their card over a special reader, without the need to enter a PIN or insert the card into a terminal. 
- The transaction is debited directly from the customer’s current account or applied to their credit card account in the same way that a standard card transaction is.
- The cards still operate as normal debit and credit cards with chip and PIN security and periodically prompt for the PIN to be entered to verify the customer’s identity.
- Currently 20,000 payment terminals at retailers in the UK are capable of taking contactless payments including in many outlets of Pret A Manger, Coffee Republic, Caffe Nero, EAT, Books etc, Krispy Kreme and thousands of independent retailers, with more installing the technology every week.
- To search for outlets which accept contactless payments visit the Visa website at

Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth management with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 140,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for 48 million customers and clients worldwide.

Press office Twitter feed: @barclaysuknews