Fast-food brand McDonald’s is launching Europe’s first retail “wave and pay” system with Mastercard.
The “contactless” PayPass system will allow customers to pay for their goods without the need to swipe a card or sign a receipt, in a way similar to the Oyster card system operated by Transport for London (TfL).
The first European restaurants to roll out the technology are in Switzerland, but McDonald’s is expected to launch the concept in the UK.
Traders including McDonald’s and cinema chains already use the system in the US, where consumers can purchase low-value goods without having to take the card out of their wallets.
The new initiative follows a trial of the technology by Mastercard with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) last summer (MW March 9, 2006). RBS set up a trial of PayPass with staff in its Edinburgh and London headquarters allowing transactions of up to £10.
The card has built-in antenna technology, as well as a standard chip and a magnetic strip, allowing payment details to be transferred to PayPass terminals using short-range radio waves.
In December last year TfL revealed it was to partner Barclays in extending its Oyster system to retailers in the capital.
Barclays will develop debit and credit cards that will combine standard chip-and-pin technology alongside that of the Oyster card.
Users will be able to pay for goods of up to £10’s value in shops with special card readers, as installed on the transport network. Oyster and credit or debit accounts would still remain separate. The system is expected to launch later this year.