Pret A Manger: Rise in NFC interest

Putting faith in NFC

Pret a Manger the UK retailer was one of the first few to bet on NFC early on. However it has only been in the past year that contactless payments have kicked off.

“Contactless payments in terms of our overall transactions have gone from single digits of probably between three to five per cent, to about 20 per cent in the last 12 months,” said Andy Chalklin, the company’s director of IT, delivery and support, in an interview with Computing.

As an advocate of NFC, Chalkin believes the method can benefit both businesses and customers. “As a retailer it is faster, it is a guaranteed payment methodology; it is not subject to charge-back from the acquirer, it is accessible as people forget their wallets at home but not their phones. And, from a retailing perspective, it is cheaper at the moment; it is 50 per cent of the interchange rate of any chip-and-pin transaction,” he said.

Whilst reaping the benefits of its NFC initiative, the company is already preparing to adopt other forms of payment technology. “So we’re trying to make sure we can accept payments through multiple channels in order to not restrict ourselves. If Apple comes out with NFC technology in the next iPhone it is going to be difficult for every retailer, but we want to make sure we are in the front of the pack with everybody else,” Chalkin commented. 

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