Barclaycard unveils contactless wristband

Barclaycard unveils contactless wristband

Barclaycard is preparing to jump on the wearable tech bandwagon through the launch of a contactless payments wristband.

Barclaycard has been trialling the bpay bands over the last two years at music festivals. After each event, the bands were deactivated but next year will see a full-scale roll out of the technology.

The bands will enable users to make low-value payments through the tap of a wrist at over 300,000 spots in the UK, including in shops, bars and on London's public transport system.

Available to customers of any UK bank or credit card company, except Amex, the actual bands will be free and there will be no usage fee, says Barclaycard.

Customers will set up an online 'top-up' account and link this to their card or bank account and then add money either manually or automatically when funds run low.

Comments: (4)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 09 June, 2014, 14:47Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes Wait a second! CNP expense to top-up the "wallet" at one end vs interchange fee earned at the other end don't stack up. As we all know, Google used that approach and lost money on every transaction. Barclays cannot afford (and will not be allowed) to do that. Also, if that was so, why limit it to wrist band form factor, and not offer "uber card"?..
A Finextra member
A Finextra member 10 June, 2014, 08:08Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

How different is this from mobile wallet except as a wearable device? Second, is this sustainable from cost perspective. This looks like a teaser  product that is free for 6 months and thereafter....Perhaps it is too early to comment.

Kishen Gajjar
Kishen Gajjar - Grant Thornton - London 10 June, 2014, 09:33Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

If you think from the customer perspective, this will help alleviate fear of contactless payments (a separate top-up account like an Oyster card as opposed to directly linked to your bank account) and help drive adoption rates when the 'real thing' finally becomes available. I think it's one of many steps in the right direction.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 10 June, 2014, 16:49Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Or they could have saved themselves a lot of (physical) issuance costs and invested in building a proper mobile wallet ecosystem using HCE and NFC.  Interesting to see that the main barclaycard site makes no mention of the new bpay bands...

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