First Spar, Eurospar and Mace stores are equipped with terminals for contactless payments

12 Jul 2012

Seamus McHugh, marketing manager at CBE, and Veronica Sullivan, head of IT at BWG Foods, at Brady's Spar in Mulhuddart, Dublin

Irish retail company BWG Foods and its technology partner CBE are rolling out terminals to enable customers to make contactless payments in Spar, Eurospar and Mace stores across Ireland, starting with branches in Dublin, Mayo and Clare.

Brady’s Spar in Mulhuddart, Dublin; Brogan’s Eurospar in Belmullet, Co. Mayo, and Talty’s Mace in Ennis, Co. Clare will pioneer the use of contactless payment terminals that will allow customers to make purchases with a wave of their credit or debit card.

“Contactless payment is a perfect fit for convenience shopping as customers will benefit directly from being able to make faster and easier payments at no extra cost,” said Veronica Sullivan, head of IT at BWG Foods. “I congratulate the stores for leading the way in this next evolution of shopping and we look forward to rolling this out across our brand estate in coming months.”

Which comes first, the terminal or the card?

Though the roll-out of cards enabled to make contactless payments could take some time yet, these stores are ensuring that they will be ready when this eventually becomes an everyday occurrence.

Visa Europe is currently working with banks to issue contactless Visa credit and debit cards, and banks in Ireland have begun issuing these cards to some customers, bit by bit.

By the time the technology becomes commonplace and consumers are less likely to carry cash, stores across the country will be equipped with contactless payment terminals to process transactions of up to €15.

“Over 80pc of transactions in convenience stores are under €15 so the potential for this new technology within the sector is enormous,” said Seamus McHugh, marketing manager for CBE. “CBE have been at the forefront of developing contactless technology for the Irish market and these installations will be the first of many as BWG Foods retailers throughout the country gear up for the imminent launch of contactless cards by all of the major banks.”

BWG Foods intends to introduce contactless payment facilities in the majority of its 900 stores before year end.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.