Asda to introduce contactless payments in 25 stores this summer, allowing customers to pay for up to £20 in purchases by tapping their contactless-enabled Visa card; U.K. expected to have 30 million contactless cards by end of 2012

LONDON , April 19, 2012 (press release) – Asda, the UK’s second largest supermarket retailer, will this summer become the latest business in the UK to introduce contactless payments in partnership with Streamline and Visa Europe. The new contactless payment option will be available across 25 stores from July onwards.

The contactless technology, provided by Streamline and Visa Europe, means that some Asda customers will be able to simply tap the reader with their contactless enabled card, and pay in less than a second when making payments of up to £15 (rising to £20 from 1 June). The technology is expected to reduce queues, especially during peak periods.

The deal will see Asda capitalise on the growing popularity of contactless technology. Today there are around 20 million contactless cards in circulation in the UK, with a total of 30 million anticipated by the end of 2012.

Matthew Rowsell, Chief Commercial Officer at Streamline, said: "This partnership is the latest step in the contactless revolution that we’re seeing right across the UK. Bringing Asda on board reinforces how popular and necessary contactless has become. Streamline is committed to keeping retailers up to date with the latest industry and consumer trends, with ongoing support and guidance in implementation."

Mark Austin, Head of Contactless, Visa Europe said: "The rollout of contactless technology by organisations like Asda is helping to set the scene for a major change in the way we pay. We’re excited to be working with partners across the industry and remain committed to the rollout of Visa payWave to match the ever increasing uptake of Visa contactless cards by British consumers."

About Streamline

Streamline is the UK’s leading card payment acquiring business which allows customers to accept card payments at point of sale, over the phone and the internet. The company offers services across the entire payment value chain, including transaction capturing, merchant acquiring and transaction processing.

Clients vary in size from small family run companies to large multi-national corporations, spanning a broad spectrum of industries and sectors. Streamline is part of the WorldPay group of companies; one of the top five global players in card processing.

For more information, visit www.streamline.com.

About Asda

Founded in the 1960s, Asda today is one of Britain’s leading retailers. It has over 180,000 dedicated Asda colleagues serving customers from 542 stores, including 32 Supercentres, 309 Superstores, 27 Asda Living stores, 174 Supermarkets, 25 depots and seven recycling centres across the UK. It has its main home office in Leeds, Yorkshire and its George clothing division based in Lutterworth, Leicestershire.

Asda serves over 18 million shoppers a week in store and its growing home shopping business at www.asda.com serves 98 per cent of UK homes.

Its Asda Price Guarantee gives customers the reassurance that a basket of groceries will always be 10 per cent better value than competitors. Powered by MySupermarket.co.uk, the APG is the only independent, transparent online grocery price-checker in the world.

Asda joined Walmart, the world’s number one retailer, in 1999.

About Visa Europe

There are currently around 32 million contactless Visa cards across Europe, distributed by 60 different issuing banks, with over 237,000 contactless terminals. 20 million of these cards and 100,000 of these terminals are within the UK. Monthly contactless spend in the UK has tripled since the start of 2011, with total contactless spend across Europe almost quadrupling in the same period. There are expected to be 50 million contactless cards across Europe by the end of 2012, 30 million of which will be in the UK.

Visa Europe is owned and operated by more than 3,700 European members and was incorporated in July 2004. Visa Europe is independent of global Visa Inc., with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual licence in Europe, while both companies operate to ensure global interoperability. As a dedicated European payment system Visa Europe is able to respond quickly to the specific market needs of European banks and their customers - cardholders and retailers - and to meet the European Commission’s objective to create a true internal market for payments.

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