Mastercard® has mandated that by January 1st 2020, all card terminals across Europe must have contactless functionality. Seeing as K Ring’s powered by Mastercard, and with a mere six months to go until the deadline, we felt it was high time to start doing some serious research to see just how ready retailers are. Then we spotted an ad for Taste of London – London’s fab foodie festival – and we knew exactly where to kick off our research. Or maybe we spotted the ad first, and then decided to justify the trip as “research”? Can’t remember, exactly … but it was definitely one or the other.
Anyway. Excited and hungry, we headed down to Regent’s Park for opening night, brolly in hand and contactless payment ring on hand (you don’t get more prepared than that in this country) and were instantly halted in our endeavours by a queue of what we estimated to be over a hundred billion people … but that may have been the heady aromas and enticing melodies playing with our minds.
Finally, we were in, swept along by a drooling crowd in a freebie-feeding-frenzy. But we weren’t there for the freebies; we were sporting K Ring, the smart ring which actually makes paying for stuff fun – mostly for the incredulous looks on people’s faces when you fist-bump a card terminal. There’s nothing more boring than a freebie when you’ve got a K Ring. Seriously.
So we explored, wandering in a very civilised manner (i.e. holding a large G&T from Jawbox Gin) past the gazebos, yurts and tipis, all crammed with culinary comforts; past the tastings; past the demos; past the guy dressed as Fred Flintstone; past Simon Rimmer enjoying a quiet pint; past the Brewgooder stand (“turning beer into clean water” in the developing world – well worth checking out their fine work, by the way) … in fact, we wandered past everything, mission forgotten, in full sensory overload.
So we went round again, paying a little more attention this time to which vendors were cash-only, which weren’t, and whether contactless-enabled terminals were being used … and if they were, what was connectivity like in the middle of a park?
To cut a long story short (we know – too late!), across a wide array of big brands, restaurants, bars, independent producers and artisans, we only found one vendor not taking card payments (but he was a very nice guy, so we didn’t give him a hard time). Most vendors we saw were using iZettle or SumUp terminals – linked to phones or tablets via Bluetooth – all of which had contactless capabilities. And as for connectivity issues in the middle of a park, well, the park was in the middle of London, so the phone/tablet-linked terminals had no problem grabbing a mobile signal, and the many payments we made with K Ring were just as fast as in-store transactions.
Whether in-store or out, purchasing food and drink is one of the most common uses of K Ring, and London uniquely offers a surfeit of opportunities and experiences for foodies: everything from the satisfying delights of craft beer, artisanal sourdough and bespoke-blend coffee, to the sophisticated delicacies of hand-crafted gin, fine pastries and scrummy sushi… all attainable within the UK’s current £30 contactless transaction limit. So no matter what you’re doing in London – grabbing a quick coffee on your commute, enjoying a relaxing brunch, or having a drink with friends after work, K Ring is the perfect contactless companion.
But as far as research goes, visiting the Taste of London festival was both enjoyable and valuable. In microcosm, it was clear that there’s been a seachange regarding contactless; the public’s once-prevalent security fears now seem to have been overcome, with consumers now accepting contactless as a way of life, and retailers now accepting contactless by default.
After Taste of London, we’re in the mood for food, so to celebrate all things foodie, we’re offering 15% OFF K Ring with promo code #FOODIE – so get yours now at: www.myKring.com/store