Sports Authority Adds Its Name To Contactless Roster

In another sign of movement in the contactless payment space, the 450-store Sports Authority chain has now agreed to accept contactless payment, which is on top of this month's agreement from Home Depot that it would also accept contactless payment. But it's also the same month when Best Buy said that they might stop accepting Visa contactless payment.

MasterCard has been offering key retailers generous checks to cover the cost of contactless deployment—and then some—to try and drive acceptance. Many retailers—Home Depot and Subway in particular--have agreed to accept contactless payment (and the bribery checks associated with it) but are unusually non-supportive of it. Even the convenience claim has been challenged by some chains that have agreed to deploy. Not clear how much benefit contactless will receive with a list of reluctant deployers, but that will become clear with the next (non-incentivized) layer of deploying retailers. The interchange fee issue—from Visa debit, which charges retailers more if a transaction is done contactlessly—is also damping down retail enthusiasm. As for consumer enthusiasm for contactless, that's also been in very short supply.

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