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Office Depot Accepting Contactless Payments

The office supply merchant is the first major retail establishment outside of fast-food restaurants, convenience stores and theaters to adopt Visa payWave and similar RFID-enabled credit cards.
By Mary Catherine O'Connor
Aug 29, 2007Office Depot has become the latest major U.S. retailer to announce accepting payments made with RFID-enabled payment devices. The office supply retailer has installed RFID payment terminals at 25 percent of its 1,100 retail locations around the United States, says Office Depot spokesperson Melissa Perlman, and intends to outfit all the stores with payment terminals by the end of September.

Office Depot decided to accept the contactless payment format as a convenience to customers. An RFID inlay embedded inside a credit or debit card or key fob is read when a consumer holds the device close to an RFID interrogator embedded in a specialized payment terminal. A chirp or beep indicates a card has been successfully read.

Not having to swipe the magnetic strip on payment cards cuts down on overall transaction time, according to research conducted by several credit card organizations, including Visa, MasterCard and American Express. What's more, no signature is required for purchases under $25. Office Depot is accepting RFID-enabled payment cards or fobs bearing the Visa payWave, MasterCard PayPass or American Express ExpressPay logos.

"It's all about customer service and creating an innovative, convenient [payment] option for our customers," says Perlman. "We're creating a complete [payment] solution, providing what customers need, as well as what they want." And what consumers want, she says, is a quick and convenient visit to the store and a variety of payment methods.

Office Depot is the first major retailer outside of quick-service restaurants, convenience stores and movie theaters to embrace RFID. Credit card organizations initially marketed RFID payment technology to such merchants as 7-Eleven and McDonald's because the majority of these companies' transactions are for small-ticket items historically paid for with cash (see Chase Offers Contactless Cards in a Blink and At McDonald's, ExpressPay Fits the Bill).

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