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Visa targets US contactless market

Visa has announced that it has surpassed a milestone of 20,000 Visa Contactless acceptance locations in the US.

The card payment company reports that a host of national brands, including McDonald's, CVS/pharmacy, AMC Theatres and Meijer, have all signed agreements to accept Contactless cards.

San Francisco-based Visa claims that the rapid take-up of the Contactless payment system is one of the fastest adoptions of payment technology ever.

The Visa Contactless system makes card transactions up to 25 per cent faster than cash transactions. The new payment feature for Visa cards allows shoppers to hold their card up to a secure reader, instead of swiping it, with signatures not usually required for purchases under $25.

Visa USA executive vice president, Elizabeth Buse, said: "There has been strong momentum for Visa Contactless and small ticket solutions from Visa this year because making the purchase process faster and easier benefits the entire payment chain - members, merchants, and cardholders.

"This momentum will continue in 2006 and beyond. The cash payment market opportunity is $1.2 trillion, and contactless will help drive the migration from cash to electronic payments."

A total of more than four million contactless Visa payment cards have been issued worldwide.