Barclays has begun a customer-wide rollout of contactless payment cards.
From this week, all new and replacement Visa debit cards issued by the bank will feature the technology, making Barclays the first UK bank to issue the cards as standard.
Three million Barclays customers will be using the cards by the end of the year, the bank said, with the majority of its customers in Britain using them by 2011.
The contactless payments system being used by the bank allows customers to make payments of up to £10 by simply swiping the card on a reader, and without entering a PIN code. The cards will also work normally for chip and PIN transactions and cash machine withdrawals.
Contactless payments are accepted at 8,000 retail outlets, including Pret A Manger, Coffee Republic, EAT, Books etc, Krispy Kreme and Threshers.
Barclays first used the technology in September 2007 with Barclaycard OnePulse, a card that combined Oyster payments for travel in London, a credit card and contactless payment functions.
Cameron Olsen, VP business development at Smart Technology Solutions, a smartcard supplier, encouraged other banks to follow suit, after UK payments association Apacs predicted that cash would decline quickly in the coming years.
But he said more retailers should consider offering the system. "Those who already have contactless cards want to use them, but at the moment they are struggling to find places that accept them," he said.
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