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Market-leading cards to go contactless from 25 October

Virgin Money is joining the contactless credit card “tap and go” revolution enabling customers to pay for items worth up to £15 just by swiping their plastic.

All two million cards across the banking group’s market-leading range will be replaced with cards containing contactless technology allowing customers to pay for items without entering their PIN.

The move comes ahead of a major expansion of the technology across the UK with leading retailers including Boots, the Co-Op and Little Chef announcing plans to install terminals.

Around one in five credit and debit cards will be enabled for “tap and go” by the end of this year with Virgin Money introducing the technology from 25 October across its range.

Customers pay for items worth £15 or less simply by holding their card against a scanner in stores. The system speeds up queues and is secure as customers have the same protection against fraud as with existing CHIP and PIN technology.

Grant Bather of Virgin Money said: “Contactless payment is fast, secure and convenient enabling customers to cut down time queuing.”

When customers first receive the card they need to make an initial CHIP and PIN transaction in order to activate the technology.

And to further enhance security they will occasionally be asked to enter their PIN. Cards can be used as normal if retailers do not have contactless terminals installed.

Notes to editors

For further information

Kevan Reilly, Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Kevan.Reilly@citigatedr.co.uk 0207 638 9571

Chris Jarvis, Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Chris.Jarvis@citigatedr.co.uk 0207 638 9571

Toby Clark, Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Toby.Clark@citigatedr.co.uk 0207 638 9571

About Virgin Money

  • Virgin Money is Virgin’s financial services arm and was established in 1995 as a joint venture between the Virgin Group and Norwich Union.
  • In 1997, Virgin Direct Personal Financial Services Limited launched The Virgin One Account, a joint venture with The Royal Bank of Scotland that offered the UK’s first current account mortgage direct to the retail market. In 2001, RBS bought out the Virgin Group’s stake in the joint venture.
  • In April 2004 the Virgin Group took 100% ownership of Virgin Money.
  • Virgin Money currently has over 2.5 million customers and offers Payment Cards (Credit Cards & Prepaid Cards), Savings and Investment products (Stakeholder Pensions, Children’s Pensions, Employers Pensions, FTSE Tracker ISA, Bond & Gilt ISA, Climate Change ISA, Cash ISA, and Unit Trusts), General Insurance products (Motor, Home, Travel, and Pet) and Life Assurance products to the UK market.
  • Virgin Money’s brand ambition is to make “everyone better off” – this philosophy underpins our approach to business by offering good value to customers, treating employees well, making a positive contribution to society and delivering a profit to shareholders.
  • Virgin has signed a five-year deal to be the official sponsor of the London Marathon, the biggest annual fundraising event in the world. The inaugural Virgin London Marathon was on 25 April 2010. The 2011 Virgin London Marathon is to be held on 17 April 2011. Virgin Money, the financial services division of the Virgin Group is leading the London Marathon sponsorship with the ambition to help runners raise £¼ billion over 5 years and will use its infrastructure, online capability and financial expertise to deliver that through Virgin Money Giving.