Cashless society by 2012, says Visa chiefBy Tim Webb
Paying for goods with notes and coins could be consigned to history within five years, according to the chief executive of Visa Europe.
Peter Ayliffe said that, by 2012, using credit and debit cards should be cheaper and more convenient than cash.
Some retailers could soon start surcharging customers if they choose to buy products with cash, because of the greater cost of processing these payments, he warned.
Visa Europe briefed the British Retail Consortium last month on new "contactless" cards that can be waved in front of a scanner to make small payments.
However, the consortium dismissed this vision and claimed that card processing fees, which regulators are investigating, are still too high.
One member of the consurtium said that the estimated "interchange" fee charged to retailers amounts to some 4p for each transaction.
Nick Mourant, treasurer at Tesco, said: "There is a duopoly between Mastercard and Visa in the UK. Their setting of fees is anti-competitive."
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