Coffee Republic is to extend its deployment of contactless payment devices after a successful trial at five London outlets.
     The company intends to roll out the OneTouch system from Barclaycard Business to the rest of its 16 company-owned coffee bars. In addition, it is talking to its franchisees about adopting the system.
     Contactless payment technology is slowly taking off, but many retailers are waiting to see demand from consumers before making firm investments.
     At its store in Canary Wharf, where contactless payment has been promoted to consumers the most, up to 20 per cent of credit card transactions are now being completed using the contactless system.
     Coffee Republic head of commercial business Aruna Withane said that it wanted to convert more of its credit card transactions to contactless. More importantly, it also saw benefits from converting cash transactions to contactless.
     The company was keen to reduce cash handling, he said. "For us to take large amounts of cash in city centre locations can be unsafe. It will reduce the time it takes staff to cash up and also reduces the possibility for human error when taking payment."
     Withane added that offering contactless payment was a service to Coffee Republic's customers and it had been pleased with the feedback that it received so far in the trial stores.
     The company is letting its franchisees see the system in action to demonstrate its value. However, Withane admitted that some were put off by the perceived transaction processing costs.
     Barclaycard plans to issue a million contactless cards by the end of the year.


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