Convenience stores stand to benefit more than their bigger rivals from contactless payment, according to a leading provider. More than three million UK consumers are expected to have the cards, which are being rolled out by Visa, by the end of 2008.

Retailers with low average transaction values had most to gain from the technology, which allows shoppers to pay by touching their card against a reader, said Greg Rankin, marketing manager at Ingenico, an electronic payment solutions provider.

In a trial, 41% of consumers said they found contactless payment more convenient than cash for small transactions. However, Ron Delnevo, MD of independent ATM operator Bank Machine, said the research showed most consumers preferred paying with cash.

“The only solid conclusion from the trial was that people had security concerns about the use of contactless payment,” he said. “This echoes a survey carried out when contactless cards were first launched in the UK that found 70% of people believed the introduction of such systems would increase fraud.”

Reports on US technology blog Boingboing claimed it was possible to skim personal details from contactless cards using equipment costing less than $8.