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Barclaycard and Orange close Quick Tap mobile NFC payments service

04 September 2014  |  14318 views  |  5 red light

Barclaycard and Orange are to kill off their Quick Tap contactless mobile payment service at the end of next month.

Launched in 2011, Quick Tap was one of the first apps to let Brits make low value point-of-sale purchases through their handsets.

But last year Orange's parent, EE, unveiled a near-identical service, called Cash on Tap, with MasterCard. Later this month Cash on Tap users will be able to pay for journeys on the tube, DLR and overground with their handsets.

In an email to customers, Barclaycard says that Quick Tap will be shut down on 30 October and the firm tells Finextra that it will now "focus on developing other innovations that better meet our customers' demands".

Barclaycard led the contactless charge in the UK, introducing tap and pay cards back in 2007. It has since unveiled its PayTag stickers, which can be attached to handsets, and next year will ramp up its move into wearables through the commercial launch of the bPay wristband.

And it is understood that Quick Tap's demise does not spell the end of the company's involvement with mobile NFC services, although details on upcoming projects are currently being kept under wraps.
KeywordsEFTPOS

Comments: (5)

Martin Cox
Martin Cox - Bell ID - Sydney | 04 September, 2014, 09:46

As a consumer and attempted user of this I'm not surprised. I tried and failed to sign up multiple times and it illustrated to me just how critical the consumer experience is even if the technology works.

Four times I called Orange, each time I was promised a new SIM (although each time the CS agent seemed to have no idea what I was talking about). I even got through to one of the project team on one occasion. Twice I was sent SIMs that didn't allow the wallet to be added and twice nothing arrived. I gave up.

A perfect illustration of a bank and MNO failing to resolve the challenge of SIM distribution, customer service training and customer satisfaction. If I as an enthusiast couldn't get the service, I wonder how many did?

The new Orange service requires a device PIN on every transaction and doesn't control the screen timeout so I'm often required to re-PIN just as I reach the POS. After a few painful experiences I've stopped using it.

Fortunately the banks I've worked with are acutely aware of the need for a smooth customer experience, so hopefully the industry will get there soon..

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 04 September, 2014, 11:51

The above comment sounds very similar to my experience as an early adopter of EE Cash on Tap (which I am sure is rhyming slang for something).

I purchased a SIM-free Samsung S4 handset, went through 2 SIM’s, downloaded and re-downloaded the app.  Seemed to accept the provisioning request – then failed with no obvious reason.  Phoned EE only to be told it wouldn’t work on SIM-free handset – only on their contract (kneecapped/bloatbuild) handsets.

As a consumer experience it failed at every stage – I don’t believe it has gotten any better…

Roll on 9th September…

 

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Paul Love
Paul Love - Compass Plus - Nottingham | 04 September, 2014, 12:12

Martin, I persevered and managed to get my Quick Tap set up, but that was just the start of the frustration.

Then came the lottery of actually trying to pay. I have made a couple of successful payments, but sadly out of many failed attempts.

Even in the same shop at the same POS on subsequent days - the first worked, the second did not.

Thankfully I can now get my prepaid funds back without any further desparate and hopeless attempts. 

I hope this experience does not dent my enthusiasm to be an "early adopter" !

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Benoit Boutry
Benoit Boutry - KBC Bank France - LILLE | 06 September, 2014, 05:41

From France , I had the same experiences. I tried several times NFC and wallets , sometimes with success , many times it failed.

When it failed , frustration comes from bad support , many times I discovered that I was one of the first customers to claim.

Without immediate and efficient support and without marketing , the most promising innovations will not succeed.

Promising initiative to follow is MCX , coming from large merchants association in the United States .

And also virtual currencies as Bitcoin , with wallets very easy to use and very efficient. It's another debate. 

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A Finextra member
A Finextra member | 08 September, 2014, 12:32

Cost and complexity are the biggest problems the consumer needs help to solve. Einstein said not to expect different results if you carry on doing the same thing. 

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