Customers of the country’s two largest grocery chains will now be spending less time at the checkout with both rolling out contactless card payments into their stores.

Both Woolworths and Coles will be implanting Visa’s PayWave technology, which will allow Visa PayWave credit cardholders to pay for transactions of $100 or less without the need for a PIN or signature.

Visa payWave cards have an embedded antenna and microchip, enabling a fast and secure contactless communication with the pinpad at the checkout. Visa cardholders also benefit from the protection of multiple layers of security, including the chip itself, and Visa’s Zero Liability policy1 means they are not liable for transactions they have not authorised.

For Woolworths, the rollout will begin from 2012 following an in-store pilot that saw the contactless payment reduces the average transaction processing time by between 50 to 75 per cent on the PINpads against the equivalent non‐contactless transaction. Woolworths has chosen to deploy a single‐integrated device which makes for a more secure, aesthetically more pleasing and efficient experience.

Dhun Karai, Woolworths head of group financial services, said it reinforces the company’s ability to embrace new technologies and payment solutions for its customers.

“This move reinforces Woolworths’ extensive track record in developing innovative payment solutions for its customers. We were the first to introduce contactless payment facilities at our petrol pumps in 2009 via our proprietary e‐pump technology,” he said.

Meanwhile, Coles expects to begin introducing contactless payment to its stores later this month. The new Ingenico pin pads will accept contactless payment from all major card operators, and can be used for both credit and debit payments.

Coles finance director Tony Buffin said the new pinpads will be installed in stores progressively from late December. Contactless payment will be tested at selected Coles stores next February, rolling out across all stores by July 2012.

“This new technology is another way we’re making the shopping experience at Coles a little bit simpler and faster for customers.” He said.

“Customers rightly expect to be able to pay for their groceries in our stores quickly and with a minimum of fuss. This new payment technology means customers with a contactless-enabled card can simply wave it in front of the pinpad terminal to instantly pay for any grocery shop under $100. And with state of the art security built in customers will also have peace of mind that their personal information is safe.”