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Ten things Brits would like to see go contactless

Wed Oct 18 11:00:00 EDT 2017

From friendly donkeys to ice-cream cones, contactless has come a long way since the days of simply buying a sandwich. Offering a secure and easy way to pay – whether via card, smartphone, jacket or jewellery – touch and go transactions have now become the norm up and down the nation. With the £30 cap now in place for two years, Brits of all ages have enjoyed a basket of groceries, a round of drinks, or spontaneously treating their loved ones thanks to the time-saving, queue-busting power of contactless. But, donkeys and ice lollies aside, what is it that Brits want to see go contactless next?

To celebrate 10 years of touch and go payments, we delve into the UK’s contactless wish list.

Ice-cream vans

When it comes to the nation’s beloved pastime of the ice-cream van, contactless is the flake on top. With the recent ‘cone-tactless’ campaign being a huge success – allowing ice-cream lovers to self-serve their favourite scoop in under a minute – it’s no wonder that this British icon features on the list.  Not only would contactless ice-cream vans banish the need for loose change, but it would also shave up to 15 seconds off the all-important transaction. Meltdown averted!

Petrol pumps

Petrol stations are busy places, with cars whizzing in and out of forecourts on the weekly petrol run. Now, with the ‘pay at the pump’ option installed at most modern fuelling stations, contactless would help put the pedal to the metal. With a swift “touch and go”, motorists could enjoy an even speedier exit for transactions under £30 – allowing car owners to top up their tanks little and often (saving time in the process).

Post boxes

Could we soon witness the day where snail mail goes contactless? With ‘digital paper’ at the forefront, contactless envelopes could be closer than we think. In the meantime, imagine paying for the price of postage at the post box itself. A stamp ‘vending machine’ affixed to our little red boxes could offer a quick, convenient way to pay for mail – without having to queue at the post office beforehand.

Summer fête

From the coconut shy to the helter skelter, a summer fête just wouldn’t be the same without its traditional line-up of stalls and rides. Yet nostalgia aside, could contactless meet the needs of the modern consumer, quicker than you can say candyfloss? With touch and go, gone are the days of rooting for the right change. Not only would queue times be less, but guests could also pay for multiple rounds of their favourite games with a simple tap. And with that giant teddy bear just within arm’s reach, traders would most likely reap the benefits too.

Charity donation boxes

From ‘Penny for London’ – the world’s first micro-donation contactless system – to Red Nose Day and the Royal British Legion encouraging contactless donations across numerous campaigns, could touch and go prompt givers to dig a little deeper? With churches across the UK now also trialling contactless collection boxes, charitable giving is evolving with the times. Bringing donations back to the high street, places of worship or even the office coffee morning could also revive the ‘physical donation’ (minus the shaker tin) alongside the ‘JustGiving’ generation trend of donating.

Fairground rides

As theme parks across the globe roll out new and innovative queuing systems (maximum fun, minimum wait), could contactless soon loop-the-loop towards the UK fairground? From bumper cars and ghost trains to the spinning waltzers, the wait time for our favourite rides could be significantly reduced with touch and go payments. Plus, with a £30 limit in play, that’s a whole group of friends along for the ride.

Toll roads

Speed and convenience are of the essence when it comes to Britain’s toll roads, so contactless fits the bill perfectly. Already available on the M6 toll, touch and go payments are the driving force behind efficient transactions from our car seats. Forget fumbling for your purse whilst driving - with your card at the ready, a simple tap and you’re away. From major motorways to tunnels, bridges and beyond, contactless is helping Britain’s motorists get to where they want to go, and faster.

Farmers’ markets

There’s nothing better than exploring one of Britain’s farmer’s markets, and with so many tempting sights and smells – it’s no wonder we reach for our purses. Gourmet burgers, local crafts and home-baked cakes are a lovely treat to enjoy on the day or take home, but if cash machines are a jaunt too far – what better solution than touch and go? With the majority of high street retailers now accepting contactless, it’s only a matter of time before local independent stalls follow suit. Watch this space…

Public toilets

When nature calls, the last thing you want to do is delve into your wallet – only to discover you’ve run out of change. As bus stations, train stations and community areas all across the UK operate a coin-based payment system, contactless could help reduce wait time – flushing away the loose change altogether. For families on the move (or for those unexpected occasions), a touch and go trip to the toilet could prove a fresher and faster experience for all.

Parking meters

With the majority of UK parking meters now accepting card payments, drivers are keen for contactless to fill the space. And, thanks to Q-Park’s ‘Tap & Go’ initiative, the age-old problem of having to keep loose change in the glove box could soon prove a thing of the past. Plus, when cutting it fine, shoppers can top up their parking in a jiffy without having to break a note (or sweat). Available in select cities across the UK including Birmingham, Leeds and London – we could soon see more of these machines pop up across the nation.

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