Customers will receive new Visa debit cards featuring contactless payment functionality in addition to the usual debit card functions; payments and ATM withdrawals at home and abroad. Visa payWave will allow customers to pay for items up to the value of £10 without the need to enter their card or PIN wherever they see the contactless “ripple” symbol. The new cards can be used in up to 1,000 shops, petrol stations, bars and restaurants around the City of London.

McDonald´s, Coffee Republic, Yo! Sushi and Threshers will have outlets centred on areas such as Liverpool Street, St Paul´s and Canary Wharf. The initial phase of this scheme is in London but it is anticipated that the technology will be rolled-out across the UK from mid-2008. Commenting, 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.” (petrolplaza)