Coles to go contactless in 2012

Coles to go contactless in 2012

Summary: Grocery giant Coles is set to deploy contactless card readers at its checkouts for payments under $100.


Grocery giant Coles is set to deploy contactless card readers at its checkouts for payments under $100.

Shopping trolley

(Portrait of a Shopping Trolley image by Timothy Allen, CC BY-SA 2.0)

Starting early next year, Coles will upgrade its Ingenico payment terminals to support contactless credit and debit-card payments. Coles' finance director, Tony Buffin, said that the supermarket would test the readers in selected stores in February, before completing the roll-out by July.

"This new technology is another way we're making the shopping experience at Coles a little bit simpler and faster for our customers," Buffin said.

Coles worked with Visa to get the contactless system off the ground in a project that Visa Australia's country manager, Vipin Kalra, said was an "exciting project to work on".

"Australian shoppers are clearly embracing contactless payments — in fact, we've seen a 150 per cent increase in the number of Visa payWave transactions in the September quarter compared to the June quarter," Kalra added.

Coles had expressed hesitation in the past to a roll-out of contactless payments to stores, with the company's head of payments, Douglas Swansson, telling ZDNet Australia this year that getting it wrong would alienate customers while breeding security concerns in shoppers aged over 50.

"If we go too bleeding edge, we may end up getting it wrong and damaging the customer experience," Swansson said in March. With today's news, however, Coles has been quick to assure customers that they are protected against potential misuse of their cards under the Visa "Zero Liability" policy.

Coles joins other stores like Bunnings Warehouse, Woolworths and Caltex in rolling out contactless payment facilities. Woolworths — Coles' biggest rival in the grocery market — announced that it would go contactless back in May, but hasn't yet named a completion date for its 30,000-terminal roll-out.

Topics: Mobility, E-Commerce, Emerging Tech

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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  • Of course Coles has seen a 150% increase in the number of contactless transactions, because prior to that the technology wasn't available for use! I'm sure car sales jumped 100% the day the first car was sold...

    As for being 'simpler and faster for customers' the trade off is security for the cardholder. When, and it will happen, someone discovers how to hack contactless payment systems the only person disadvantaged will be the cardholder. So it's easy to see how Coles doesn't perceive any security problems FOR THEMSELVES.

    As a consumer, contactless payment is a weakening of card security processes. It only benefits the retailers whilst creating more risk for the carholder.

    I have no intention of using contactless payment, and should I be tricked into doing so (by whatever means) I'll simply dispute the transaction. Without a cardholders PIN or signature, there is zero proof the cardholder authorised the transaction.

    If someone steals my card now it's useless without the PIN or a good forgery of my signature. If someone steals a contactless card, they can immediately ring up multiple sub-$100 purchases at Coles. Thankyou Coles for encouraging and enabling the theft and misuse of my credit cards.

    Zero liability means nothing...once an illegal transaction is made. Now we'll be forced to prove we didn't make the transaction...
    Scott W-ef9ad
  • Scott,

    Your credit card is already insecure. Coles and other merchants, such as McDonalds, have already introduced PIN-less sales for transactions $35 or less.

    The credit card companies and banks are intentionally eliminating the requirement for card holders to authorise transactions because doing so will eventually lead to the consumer accepting their final solution to the problem, which is the implantation of RFID chips into every person. This sounds crazy, but there are already people who are paying for the 'privilege' of being implanted with RFID chips. VIP patrons at the Baja Beach night club in Holland are lining up to be chipped. They use the implanted RFID chip as identification to gain entry to the night club, and also to purchase drinks. YouTube it if you want to see it.

    RFID based cards will replace cash within the next 10-15 years. Check out the site to see ongoing developments in the Global rollout of RFID based identification and payment systems.

    Mobile phones/devices with Near Field Communication capabilities are starting to be sold, and these will facilitate RFID based electronic transfers of funds between individuals.

    The current insecurity of RFID based payment systems is temporary and will be eliminated once the technology is ubiquitious, and everyone has been chipped. Every transaction will be traceable. The authorities will be able to easily identify anyone who attempts to skim your chip or steal from your account.

    Aside from the Big Brother implications of the impending RFID chipped society, you might want to consider the fact that the requirement for every single person to receive a mark (in the right hand or forehead) in order to buy or sell, was predicted 1900+ years ago in book of Revelation (13:16-18) some 1900+ years ago. This mark is known as as the mark of the beast, or 666, and here it comes.