The Co-operative is ‘on track’ to extend contactless payments ready for the Olympics

April 13, 2012

The Co-operative Group is extending its contactless payment technology to more than 200 food stores and pharmacy branches within the M25 in time for the Olympics, following successful trials.

It will install the terminals at 175 food stores and 28 pharmacy branches, within the M25 in Greater London by the end of May, following successful trials at six pharmacy branches – five in Stoke-on-Trent and one in Birchwood, Warrington - and trials at four food stores in Manchester city centre.

The Group has joined forces with Barclaycard, in partnership with Visa, to deliver the point of sale technology for the programme, which, if successful, will be rolled out to the Group’s entire pharmacy network – more than 770 branches - by the end of May, with a view to rolling it out to all its 2,800 food stores by the end of the year.

The Co-operative Bank will also begin issuing contactless payment cards to its debit and credit card customers, by replacing their existing cards when they expire, later this year.

Andy Haywood, Chief Information Officer, The Co-operative Group, said: “The Co-operative has been working hard to roll out this unique payment method across Greater London in time for the 2012 Olympics, which has been billed as a contactless event, and then its entire food and pharmacy estate by the end of the year.

“Contactless technology will mean a much faster and easier, yet secure, way for customers to pay for low-value goods, which will result in shorter and speedier queues in our stores.”

Contactless payment technology currently allows customers to make purchases of £15 or less, without the need to enter a PIN number or insert their card into a payment terminal.

When customers hold their card over the contactless-enabled Chip and PIN terminal the transaction is automatically added to their credit card bill or debited from their current account.

To reduce security risks, cardholders will occasionally be asked to enter their PIN number, and the card providers will also refund any losses if a card is lost or stolen, provided the cardholder reports the loss at the earliest opportunity and does not act negligently or fraudulently.

Andy added: “Contactless technology is growing in popularity globally and is the future of paying for goods and services. It brings huge benefits for consumers and is a key component in improving service and will further
enhance the in-store experience for our customers.”

Additional Information:

The Co-operative Group is the UK’s largest mutual business, owned not by private shareholders but by over seven million consumers.  It is the UK’s fifth biggest food retailer and a major financial services provider, operating The Co-operative Bank and The Co-operative Insurance. Among its other businesses are the number one funeral services provider, the third largest pharmacy chain and one of Britain’s largest farming operations. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Group has also set out its social and sustainability goals in its groundbreaking Ethical Plan, which specifies over 50 commitments in these areas.

The Group operates 4,800 retail trading outlets, employs more than 100,000 people and has an annual turnover of more than £13bn.  Further information is available at


Contact Information:

Kieran Howlett      
Senior Public Relations Officer
The Co-operative Group
Tel: 0161 266 3592
Mob: 07739 657 585