August 26, 2007 Money makes the world go around, and as with any system, reducing the frictional losses should benefit the productivity of that system – so the publicity stunt staged in a McDonalds drive-through in London with a Formula One car is quite significant. It was nominally the first use of contactless payment in the UK and marks the beginning of the roll-out of contactless cards which use radio wave card technology. When the contactless card is placed in very close proximity to the terminal, it transmits data from the card to the retailer’s card reader. The new technology allows contactless purchases up to UKP10 and normal chip & PIN purchases above that amount. Trials have shown the cards can halve the time taken for a cash transaction.
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