Starbucks Plans to Accept Contactless Payment in the UK

The Starbucks coffee chain is the latest merchant to signal it will accept contactless payment in the United Kingdom, adding more momentum to the rollout there.

Credit card issuer and acquirer Barclaycard, part of Barclays bank, announced today it had signed a deal with the large coffee chain to accept contactless in selected shops starting next spring. Provided these pilots are successful, the chain will roll out contactless across most of its stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Starbucks has more than 700 stores combined in the two countries.

The Starbucks announcement follows an earlier announcement by McDonald’s, in January, that the fast-food chain would accept contactless payment at its 1,200 restaurants throughout the United Kingdom starting this summer, one of the first tier-one merchants to embrace the technology in the country.

“We’re seeing more and more people use cards for payment, and contactless will allow us to serve our customers more quickly and with greater ease,” Pete Blower, Starbucks’ technology services manager for Europe, said in a statement.

Starbucks accepts contactless in some other countries, but not yet in its largest market, the United States. It is currently rolling out bar-code based payment from smartphones stateside.

Barclaycard used today’s Starbucks announcement to promote its “Quick Tap” NFC service, which it announced last Friday with mobile operator Orange UK. Users of the service, which only is available on one NFC phone so far, will be able to tap their phones to pay for purchases of £15 (US$24.27) and less at Starbucks and other contactless outlets. They will also be able to tap contactless credit and debit cards.  

Barclaycard and Barclays, which is leading the contactless rollout in the United Kingdom, have together issued more than 11.4 million contactless cards, more than 80% of the total contactless cards issued in the United Kingdom, said the bank. Barclaycard’s acquiring arm accounts for most of the contactless terminals deployed so far, as well.

Visa Europe was also included in today’s announcement with Starbucks, but MasterCard Worldwide’s PayPass application will also be accepted at Starbucks. All told, more than 50,000 merchant location accept payWave and PayPass in the United Kingdom, according to Barclaycard, though few of them are part of large chains.

HEADLINE NEWS

Taiwan Regulators Express Doubts about Use of BLE for Top Transit E-Purse; Apple Rejects Purse for Wallet

NFC TIMES Exclusive – TAIPEI, Taiwan: EasyCard Corp., which runs the largest closed-loop transit and retail payments service in Taiwan, is seeking to become the first major transit fare-collection system globally to roll out Bluetooth-based mobile ticketing. But Taiwan’s strict financial regulator still has doubts about the security of the technology.

MediaTek Using NFC Technology from STMicroelectronics, Though Extent of Deal Not Disclosed

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight ­– In what may be a response to the proposed tie-up between Qualcomm and NXP Semiconductors, STMicroelectronics has announced that it is “cooperating” with Taiwan-based MediaTek, the No. 2 supplier of processor chips for smartphones, to integrate its NFC technology into MediaTek reference designs.

Singapore Latest Country Pushing National QR Code Specification

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Singapore is the latest country developing a national specification for QR code-based payments, seeking to reduce fragmentation of various QR code-based schemes.

Another Wearables Maker Enters ‘Pays’ Market with NFC-Enabled Device

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – U.S.-based device maker Garmin is the latest company to introduce an NFC-based mobile payments service in a smartwatch, today unveiling its “Garmin Pay” service for its forthcoming vívoactive 3 watch.

Struggling Fitness Band Maker Fitbit Announces Plans for NFC Payments Service with New Smartwatch

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Struggling U.S.-based fitness band maker Fitbit announced today it will introduce an NFC-based payments service, “Fitbit Pay,” after it launches its first-ever smartwatch, the Ionic, promising to enable major issuers in more than 10 markets globally to offer contactless payments supporting the Visa, Mastercard and American Express brands.

Visa Ready Program May Not be Quite Ready for Tokenization Partners

Sep 15 2017

NFC TIMES Exclusive – The Visa Ready program, Visa’s effort to get new digital payments services to the market sooner by giving vendors a fast-track route for their products and technologies to be certified, may not be quite ready–at least as far as Visa’s tokenization partner program is concerned

NFC Transit Ticketing Rolled Out–Likely with HCE–on Beijing Subway System Following Large Pilot

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – The Beijing Subway and Beijing’s public transport payments company Yikatong Monday launched what appears to be an HCE-enabled mobile payments system on the entire metro system after piloting the service earlier this summer on one line.

Wal-Mart Starts to Expand ‘Scan & Go’ App; Experience Does Not Seek to Mimic Amazon Go Concept

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Wal-Mart Stores has introduced a “Scan & Go” mobile-shopping and payments app for a limited number of its regular stores in five U.S. states, and said it plans to roll out the service more widely. It follows the launch last year of a very similar app for its warehouse store chain, Sam’s Club, as NFC Times has reported.

Alipay to Expand Acceptance of Mobile Wallet in Russia

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Alipay is expanding acceptance in another overseas market, Russia, seeking to capture business from Chinese tourists who travel to the country.

Parties Could Settle Lawsuits Stemming from Dispute over Apple Value-Added Services Software

NFC TIMES Exclusive –  Software that enables consumers to tap to pay and earn or redeem rewards and other value-added services with Apple Pay is at the center of a legal dispute between Israel-based NFC and contactless reader vendor On Track Innovations and USA Technologies, a provider of payment technology for vending machines and other self-service retail locations.

Apple Discloses Plans for Four More Apple Pay Markets; Confirms Most Transactions Outside of U.S.

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Apple Tuesday disclosed plans to launch its mobile payments service in four more small markets, including three countries in the Nordics, with the tech giant seeing higher usage of Apple Pay outside of the U.S., where NFC-enabled POS terminals are still not widely available.

Major Networks Seek to Capture–and Protect–Transactions by Introducing Global QR Code Specifications

NFC TIMES Exclusive Insight – Major payments networks, including Visa, Mastercard and China UnionPay, have released global specifications for QR code-based payments through their EMVCo joint venture because they see an opportunity to capture more transactions–and also a risk of losing transactions if they don’t support the technology globally.