The Scottish capital’s strong identity makes it the perfect location to showcase contactless and demonstrate the technology’s capabilities.

In what was considered a pioneering move in the UK back in 2006, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and MasterCard began trialling contactless debit cards at the bank’s head office campus in Gogarburn, near Edinburgh, to test convenience as well as user and retailer acceptance.

This was an ideal location since it contained a range of outlets where the cards could be used and represented a microcosm of the ‘real shopping world’. A small number of retailers took part in the trial including Starbucks, Tesco Express, a hair salon and a canteen. Around a third of the campus’ 3,000 staff applied for the specially adapted Maestro card, which could be used during the year-long trial.

RBS was also the first bank in the UK to test out phone debit payments using Maestro PayPass. The scheme, known as Tap and Go, ran in Edinburgh during 2007 and used Nokia handsets.

Edinburgh has proved a good testing ground for the bank, which has now rolled out contactless cards to customers in London following its successful trials in the city.

And it looks like it could become the venue for even more contactless rollouts, with the technology set to be tested with season ticket holders on the main Edinburgh-Glasgow railway line.

Category Number Score
Point of sale terminals/readers deployed 11-50 2
Different types of contactless device 2 4
Number of contactless devices 1001-5000 40
Number of applications 1 1
Total number of service providers involved 7 7
Number of banks in partnership 1 1
Number of operators in partnership 0 0
Number of merchant locations 1-10 1
Transit operators in scheme 0 0
Parking sector 0 0
Vending 0 0
Entertainment sector – football, leisure, congress etc 0 0
Public sector activities – libraries, schools etc 0 0
Smart poster environments in place 0 0
Marketing campaigns rolled out 1 1
Length of time project implemented 13-24 months 4
ROI – future potential 1 1
Green credentials 1000 5
Social equality 0 0
Total 67


  1. Scottish showcase for contactless technology « Contactless & NFC City League - September 2, 2010

    […] Click here for our League Score Table on Edinburgh. […]

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