2011 Contactless Monkey Award Winners Announced

The global appetite for contactless technologies shows no sign of abating as the 2011 Contactless Intelligence Contactless Monkey Awards (CMA) honours retailer achievements across a wide range of sectors and countries throughout Europe and further afield.

Now in its fourth year, the Visa Europe-sponsored Contactless Monkey Awards has yet again attracted a record turnout, making it an important fixture in the contactless calendar. “We’ve seen entry numbers grow year-on-year, highlighting the dynamism of this burgeoning industry,” said Steve Atkins, CEO of Krowne Communications, the company behind Contactless Intelligence. “Whereas other awards ceremonies focus on behind-the-scenes technological innovations, we honour those firms that are really making a difference in getting contactless devices into the hands of users and encouraging consumers to use them at both major international and small retailers throughout the world.”

This year’s CMA champions accepted their trophies at a gala dinner at Tower Bridge Hilton, London, on April 14, 2011. The winners are:
In restaurant dining – McDonald’s (UK)
High throughput beverage – Insomnia Coffee (Ireland)
High throughput food – EAT (UK)
Competitive advantage through technology – McDonald’s (UK)
On the High Street – Vivotech (Kuwait)
Health/Lifestyle/Entertainment – city of Nice (France)
Public concern – NXP for National ID card (Germany)
Transportation – Veolia, Nice (France)
Trailblazing and innovation – Clear2Pay

In addition, Visa Europe presented its Visa payWave award for Best Customer Experience to EAT, while Will Judge from Transport for London (TfL) won the Visa payWave Business Leader prize.

Lewis Nolan, Vice President, Market Development for Visa payWave at Visa Europe said: “We are very proud to sponsor the Contactless Monkey Awards for a fourth year. 2011 is seeing significant growth of contactless technology across many European markets, and it is fantastic to see this reflected in the diversity of nominations and award winners.

“With close to 20 million contactless enabled Visa cards now in circulation across Europe and over 125,000 acceptance locations we will continue to see even greater growth as contactless moves into the mainstream.

“I am particularly pleased to recognise the achievement of both EAT, who as one of our original contactless launch participants has continued to provide the best in customer payment experience, and of Will Judge from TfL whose vision and determination against a range of odds has brought us to the brink of what will be an amazing breakthrough in the way we pay for public transport journeys across London and beyond.”

Atkins said: “The quality of awards’ entries continues to improve each year, demonstrating that contactless is fast becoming a technology that brings advantages to citizens and businesses alike. Whether it’s to increase throughput, to reduce the amount of cash used by a firm or to encourage spending, more merchants are choosing to give contactless a go. And they’re being encouraged to do so by consumers who are rapidly recognising the benefits of the technology in terms of convenience and time saving.”

This year’s judges included Wendy Atkins, Contactless Intelligence; Nav Bains, GSMA; Paul Chamberlain, Association for Convenience Stores; Michel Barjansky, independent transport consultant; Lewis Nolan, Visa Europe; Kevin Farquharson, Smart Card Networking Forum; and Samee Zafar, Edgar Dunn.

“The number of firms that now want to talk about what they are doing with contactless globally is encouraging for the industry, but it makes the judges’ job tougher every year,” added Atkins. “We’re grateful for the time everyone spent analysing the input in some very tough categories. There were some particularly strong entries in certain categories, such as Public Concern, which meant some of the results were incredibly close.”