Stationer WHSmith rolls out contactless payment at key travel locations

WHSmith, one of the UK’s largest retailers of stationery, books, newspapers, magazines and impulse products, is the latest business in the UK to launch contactless payment in partnership with Streamline and Visa Europe.

The new contactless payment option will initially be available in 46 major travel locations, such as London Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and mainline railway stations across the UK. These stores are expected to go live throughout spring 2012.

The VisapayWave contactless technology provided by Streamline enables consumers to simply touch the reader with their cards for everyday items under £15 (rising to £20 from 1 June 2012). Transactions take place in less than a second, giving both retailers and consumers speed and convenience without the need to handle cash, said Streamline.

For retailers, contactless payments help to reduce the costs associated with cash handling, and the related security costs of having cash on site, the company added.

Matt Rowsell, chief commercial officer for Streamline, said: “Contactless payments are ideally suited to time-poor shoppers, such as those travelling through busy rail and airport locations. We’re confident contactless will enhance the customer experience and reduce transaction times in these very busy stores.”

“The introduction of contactless at these key travel sites is ideal for consumers who often need to complete a purchase quickly prior to catching a train or plane. We are delighted WHSmith has decided to adopt contactless technology and believe the introduction of this service will be of great value to their customers,” said Mark Austin, head of contactless at Visa Europe.

With over 1,000 stores across the UK, WHSmith is the first large bookseller, stationer and newsagent to adopt contactless technology in the UK.