UK RFID card plans - they're major

Following on my report about the Visa Wave RFID card project, it seems that plans are now well under way to launch versions of the MasterCard PayPass and Visa Wave cards in the UK.

My sources tells me that Barclaycard and the Royal Bank of Scotland are quietly working together on implementing a common RFID terminal for use in UK retailers.

The gameplan is to roll-out PayPass and Wave in the UK in the third quarter of 2007, with a national launch, and not a trial.

Assuming all goes well with the launch, the plan is to enable all UK debit cards - Maestro and Visa Delta - with an RFID facility by 2010, as well allowing selected credit card issuers, including Amex, to Wave/PayPass-enable their cards under the program.

The plan is to make all transactions under a tenner route through the PayPass/Wave program, which does not require a PIN or signature, and for transactions above this level to be processed using Maestro, MasterCard and Visa as normal.

I still have severe reservations about RFID cards - what happens if you have more than one card in your wallet and the system registers the wrong card?

This is one person who won't be signing up for a PayPass or Wave card in too much of a hurry - cash may be cumbersome, but for small value transactions it's very useful.

And it doesn't leave a Big Brother-style trail either...