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What is Contactless?

Contactless is a function on certain debit, credit and prepaid cards that allows you to make a quick and easy payment for goods or services for an amount that is £20 or less without entering a PIN.

Where you see the contactless wave displayed (like the one on this page) and have a contactless card (debit, credit or prepaid), you can make a contactless payment where the amount is for less than £20.

All you have to do is place your contactless card over the card reader to make the payment.

How do I know if I have a contactless card?

Take a look at your card If there is the logo (like the one on this page) , it means that you have a contactless card and can use it in any of the high street shops or outlets listed below.

Where can I use my contactless card?

If you have a card that has contactless enabled on it, there are many high street shops that will take this type of payment. The UK Cards Association understands that the following retailers are now accepting Contactless cards:

  • Aldi
  • AMT Coffee
  • Banardos
  • Boots
  • Caffe Nero
  • Chop'd
  • Coffee Republic
  • Co-op Pharmacy
  • Costa Coffee
  • Costcutter
  • Cruush
  • David Lloyd
  • Eat
  • Gourmet Burger Kitchen
  • Greggs
  • Ikea
  • J D Weatherspoon
  • Little Chef
  • London Buses
  • M6 Toll
  • Marks and Spencer
  • McDonalds
  • Nandos
  • National Trust
  • Paul's Bakers
  • Paypoint
  • Post Office
  • Pret
  • Spar
  • Stagecoach
  • Starbucks
  • Subway
  • Superdrug
  • Timpsons
  • Waitrose
  • Wasabi
  • West Cornwall Pasty
  • WH Smith
  • Wilkinsons

The following of our member organisations have issued Contactless cards:

  • American Express
  • Barclays (Barclays Bank and Barclaycard)
  • Capital One
  • Clydesdale Bank
  • Co-operative Bank Plc
  • HSBC
  • Investec Bank
  • Lloyds Banking Group (Lloyds and Halifax)
  • MBNA
  • Nationwide
  • Santander
  • The Royal Bank of Scotland Group (NatWest and RBS)
  • TSB Bank
  • Yorkshire Bank

What’s good about having a contactless card?

There are loads of reasons why paying with contactless is so good:

  • There’s no need to have the correct change
  • There’s no need to mess about entering your PIN in to the terminal every time. From time to time, you may have to enter your PIN in to the terminal, this is just a security check - to verify that you, the authorised cardholder, are still in possession of the card.
  • There’s no need to queue for so long; as contactless speeds up the time it takes to make a payment
  • It reduces the need to find a cash machine or carry cash
  • It’s more convenient than other types of payment
  • There’s no need to carry an additional card - contactless functionality can be provided on a standard credit, debit, charge or pre-paid card

What is all this talk about using your mobile phone instead of using a card?

At the moment, this is still at an early stage of development, but in the not so distant future, you may be able to pay with your mobile phone, much like you would do for a contactless transaction. In the US, there have been changes in technology, so that people are able to make transactions and move money through their own mobiles/smart phone or tablet already. The UK is looking to follow in their footsteps.

Where can I find out more?


We also have a sister website contactless.info that can provide you with more information - focused on the merchants rather than it being focused on you, as the consumer, but it may be of interest to you.

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