Contactless is king. More and more we’re using the effortless payment method to take a train or grab the day’s groceries.
But with the announcement of its new bPay range, Barclay Card appears to be shifting away from the conventional contactless bank card model, favouring instead something even more seamless.
Well, three things actually: a wristband, a fob, and a sticker.
Each containing a chip which links to a bPay account, the devices – which go on sale this Wednesday – can be used at any of the 300,000 contactless locations in the UK.
The accessories will work with any UK Visa or MasterCard, and will have a £20 transaction limit (set to rise to £30 in September). The maximum daily spend will be capped at £400.
An accompanying app will allow users to transfer funds to their digital wallet and keep a tab on transactions.
In a move to entice a more youthful audience, Barclay Card are allowing children as young as 12 to buy a bPay device. They can either apply for their own account or link it to a parent’s.
While the wristband and fob are obvious choices as contactless devices, the sticker – marketed as a smartphone accessory – seems a little less clear cut, especially with Apple Pay’s UK launch imminent.
The tech giant’s new payment service will allow iPhone owners to use their handsets for contactless transactions, just like the bPay range.
Apple Pay will also include fingerprint authentication however – a benefit in terms of security, but something which could slow the payment process down, critics warn.
A Barclay Card spokesman was unable to comment on why the bank had not partnered with Apple on contactless payment, though a tweet earlier in the month stated talks between the companies was “constructive”.