Major supermarket chains are poised to install a new contactless card payment system in a bid to speed up transactions and cut queues.
The system, provided by Visa and due to be rolled out this summer, is modelled on the Oyster card.
The technology will allow shoppers to complete in seconds low-value transactions, typically for amounts less than £10, by waving a special debit, credit or prepaid card over a contactless reader.
Participating retailers will simply have to bolt the new reader on to their existing chip and PIN systems.
Visa said the technology had been welcomed by the top four supermarkets, who were particularly keen on installing it in their smaller-format c- stores.
"Stores such as Sainsbury's Local and Tesco Express will be key," said Sandra Alzetta, senior vice president, consumer market development at Visa Europe.
"Moving people quickly through the checkout is of critical importance in these types of high-footfall stores. Shoppers are put off when they see long queues. Retailers will immediately see the benefits of the quick payments in shorter queuing times and less cash being used."
Shoppers would be asked to enter their PIN numbers now and again to maintain security, she added.
Three quarters of the 27 billion cash transactions made in the UK every year are for amounts of less than £10, according to Visa.