See also: profile on M&S CIO Darrell Stein

Retail giant Marks & Spencer has revealed that it has gone into partnership with Visa Europe and payment value chain specialist Streamline to roll out contactless payment technology in a number of its stores.

It will initially launch the systems in 25 stores across London, including Marble Arch, Stratford City, White City and a number of Simply Food stores, which are expected to go live throughout summer 2012.

By tapping on a payment terminal, shoppers will be able to pay for goods worth up to £20 in under a second.

Marks & Spencer is the latest in a string of outlets to roll out contactless payments, including the Post Office and WHSmith.

Mark Austin, Head of Contactless at Visa Europe, said: “We are delighted that Marks & Spencer has decided to adopt contactless technology and believe the introduction of this service will be of great value to their customers.”

“We now have over 24 million contactless cards in circulation in the UK and we are excited to add Marks & Spencer to the list of retailers accepting contactless payments in all of their stores.”

There are now over 140,000 contactless acceptance points in the UK, according to Visa, and the number of terminals in Europe is increasing at a rate of approximately 10,000 per month.

It predicts that there will be 30 million contactless cards in the UK by the end of the calendar year.

Visa Visa adding smartphones to list of NFC enabled tech" href="" target="_blank">recently added smartphones from Samsung Electronics, Research in Motion and LG Electronics to a list of devices it has certified to work with the NFC-based payment terminals it has in Europe.

All the products run Visa’s payWave application on a secure SIM card and use NFC (near field communications), a short range communications standard, to securely transmit payment information to a contactless payment terminal.