Halifax building society has become the latest financial institution to roll out contactless payment cards.
Visa payWave debit cards will be issued to 25,000 customers in the first phase of the Halifax roll-out.
The move is part of a the introduction of contactless payment cards – aimed at speeding up transactions of less than £10 – by Visa and MasterCard across a string of high street banks.
UK payments association Apacs estimates that more than 5m contactless cards will be issued by the end of next year, to pay for small value items at least 100,000 retail outlets.
Customers will be able to use the payWave cards to pay for items up to the value of £10 without the need to enter card details or their PIN. The cards can also be used for standard debit card transactions and cash withdrawals.
Paul Marriott-Clarke, head of banking at Halifax, said: "We're delighted to be at the forefront of this scheme. Contactless payment through Visa payWave is quick and convenient – ideally suited to busy cities like London as it is the fastest and most convenient way for customers to pay for their small everyday purchases."
An initial 1,000 outlets centred on the City and Canary Wharf, including McDonald's, Coffee Republic, Yo! Sushi and Threshers, are set up to receive contactless payments.
In a further development of the contactless card scheme, Barclaycard has combined the wave and pay Visa technology with the Oyster smartcard used to pay bus and tube fares in London.