Natwest and RBS to issue contactless cards

NatWest and RBS have confirmed that they will be issuing contactless cards to more than 2 million of their customers starting from April and rolling out over the next year. 

In a move that will no doubt catapult contactless payment in the UK, Natwest and RBS will follow Barclays in allowing people to tap and go when it comes to paying for their coffee or a sandwich.

Over 2 million eligible RBS and NatWest customers will receive a contactless card over the next year, says Visa, the company behind the technology. 

The new contactless cards will become standard from April, Natwest has said, although it has been trailing the new system for some months now. 

“We’re delighted to announce that RBS and NatWest will be rolling out Visa contactless cards in 2013," the bank confirmed.

"Many major merchants including Marks & Spencer, McDonalds, the Post Office and London’s buses are now accepting contactless payment as the service becomes a high street reality. We are expecting to see contactless transaction volumes quadruple in 2013 as momentum in this exciting space continues to grow.”

READ: RBS and Nat West customers first to get Visa's V.me PayPal rival in UK

The move is even more important for fans of NFC because it will mean more and more shops will be encouraged to be fitted with devices that in turn will work with NFC payments via your smartphone.

Last year Samsung and Visa ran a trial with Lloyds TSB allowing a select few (including Pocket-lint) to trial the new service at the Olympic Games. 

Contactless payments are accepted at more than 150,000 terminals in the UK and a total of 590,000 across Europe. By the end of 2013, there will be more than 70 million Visa contactless cards in use across Europe.