Barclays has announced it is to offer contactless Visa debit cards to its customers.

From March, most Barclays debit cards that are issued or reissued will have contactless technology built in as standard.

Barclays says this will mean more than three million customers will be issued with contactless debit cards by the end of the year.

The cards use contactless technology to enable transactions of £10 or less to be paid for by holding the card up to a special reader, without the need to enter a PIN or insert the card into a terminal.

Over 8000 retailers already accept contactless payments including Pret A Manger, Coffee Republic, EAT, Books etc, Krispy Kreme and Threshers.

The first time for a debit card to offer this tech, credit cards have been available since September 2007 with the launch of Barclaycard OnePulse.