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UK retail industry marks 30 year anniversary of in-store

UK retail industry marks 30 year anniversary of in-store

electronic payment


Three decades on, the number of transactions processed by Barclaycard in the UK exceeds 4.6 billion each year


[if !supportLists]·         [endif]Payment innovation continues to drive industry growth with annual transactions acquired by Barclaycard in-store, online and on mobile, up 16 per cent year-on-year

[if !supportLists]·         [endif]In 1986 Barclaycard began rolling out electronic card payments following first deployment at a Miss Selfridge store in Brent Cross Shopping Centre, London

[if !supportLists]·         [endif]The landmark moment transformed buying and selling on the high street making shopping quicker and easier for both merchants and consumers

[if !supportLists]·         [endif]To mark the occasion Barclaycard releases original 1980s launch film:


The ongoing growth of online and mobile shopping has led to the number of electronic transactions in the UK increasing at a rapid rate – a trend which shows no signs of slowing down.


Data from Barclaycard released today reveals that the payments company processed over 4.6 billion transactions in the UK last year – a 16 per cent jump on the 2014 figure*.  Such is the rise in credit, debit and ecommerce spending that in the 10 years between 2004 and 2014 the amount spent by British shoppers climbed from £5.7 billion to over £12 billion**.


The news comes as Barclaycard marks 30 years since the first full scale deployment of electronic credit card payments after it installed its terminals in a Miss Selfridge store in Brent Cross Shopping Centre, London. The 1986 transaction, for a blue and white blouse was processed on Barclaycard’s Process Data Quickly (PDQ) terminal, the first of its kind and which helped shape the future of British commerce, delivering not only faster and more efficient payment in stores but paving the way for the online shopping revolution of the last 15-20 years.


The speed, ease and security of this new way to pay meant that merchants across the country quickly followed suit, with Barclaycard rolling out tens of thousands of terminals to bars, restaurants, petrol stations and virtually every retail sector by the turn of the 90s.


Today approximately one million PDQ terminals are in use across the UK, with almost 1.2 million businesses now accepting card payments***.


James McDonald, Director of Innovation and Strategic Initiatives, Barclaycard said:

“In 1986, when we first launched PDQ, the demand for payment innovation was driven by the merchants’ need for a more secure and more efficient way of taking card payments. Over the past 30 years, the payments process has transformed at a rapid rate, leading to the development of the quickest and most convenient payment methods we’ve ever seen, such as contactless and wearables.


“Looking ahead to the next three decades, we will continue to see payment innovation evolve as providers focus on putting customer experience at the heart of new innovation. While advances in mobile technology in particular will continue to improve in the immediate future, further down the line we could be heading towards a world where payment by finger print, or even by retina, eventually become the norm.”


To mark the 30 year anniversary of electronic payments Barclaycard is releasing a short film produced in the 1980s which captures the impact PDQ had on the UK retail industry:


A look back at UK payments innovation

Prior to the introduction of PDQ, processing card payments was time consuming and carried a far higher risk of fraud. Merchants were required to take an imprint or carbon copy of a customer’s card to create a ‘voucher’ which was in-turn sent to the appropriate bank. This system was vulnerable to human error, costly to administer and also meant there could be several days, or even weeks lag, between a transaction being made and a payment being received – prompting demand for a more sophisticated and secure alternative.


The rollout of PDQ terminals paved the way for a rich catalogue of UK payment firsts introduced by Barclaycard in the years that followed, including chip technology (1998), Chip and PIN (2003), contactless payments (2007) and more recently payment wearables (2012). Earlier this year, Barclaycard also introduced Android Contactless Mobile which allows users to make contactless payments on their Android phone as well as high value contactless payments up to £100 without the need to use a credit or debit card.


On June 29th 2016 Barclaycard will celebrate its 50th anniversary, marking fifty years of allowing consumers and businesses to make and take payments simply and easily. From introducing the first credit card to the UK in 1966 and the first credit card for women in 1973 – to introducing the first PDQ terminal in 1986 – Barclaycard has a played an integral role in developing many new payment innovations which have changed the way we shop for goods and services.

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