Blackpool donkey rides go contactless

Visitors to Blackpool Beach this bank holiday will be able to pay for donkey rides using contactless payment – a first for the traditional seaside resort tourist attraction.

Mark Ineson, owner of the beachside Real Donkeys company, has worked with Barclaycard to give Dillon the donkey a technology makeover that he says should help boost his business.

Parents can now touch their contactless credit or debit card – from any bank that offers the technology – to pay for their children to take a ride down the Blackpool Sands. Barclaycard technologists teamed up with design consultants Seymourpowell to build the donkey's new tack.

Ineson said: "Over the years I've had to turn hundreds of kids away because mums and dads don't have the cash on them to pay for a ride on Dillon – and the beach is often the last place you want to be carrying lots of change."

"The saddle they've come up with means hundreds more people will be able to experience one of the Great British seaside traditions and have a donkey ride along the sands. It also shows that, regardless of how traditional your business might be, there are always new things to trial that can give it a much-needed boost."

Research released by Visa Europe, earlier this month, found that consumers made 19.7 million contactless transactions across the UK in May 2014, which represented an 18% increase on the previous month. May's figure of £126.7 million was also, reportedly, a new record for the total value of transactions made by contactless cards in the UK in a single month.

Visa Europe said that more than 37.8 million contactless cards have now been issued by UK banks, which is up 35% on the same period last year.

Reflecting on the new initiative in Blackpool, Tami Hargreaves, head of contactless at Barclaycard, commented: "Assuming that Dillon's pioneering approach in going cashless is a success, we could see the roll out of more contactless donkeys everywhere next summer.

"In fact, we're constantly building on the market leading innovations we have delivered, and we have exciting projects in the pipeline which are set to shape the future of payments."

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