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Barclaycard rolls out contactless stickers

19 April 2012  |  15142 views  |  0 PayTag iPhone

Barclaycard has begun rolling out contactless payments stickers that can be attached to mobile phones to its UK Visa credit card customers.

The free PayTag stickers, around a third of the size of a credit card, are currently being offered to selected customers, who can link them to their main accounts. A full roll out to millions more people will follow later this year.

Customers attach the stickers to their handsets and can then make payments of up to £15 (rising to £20 in June) at retailers that accept the technology with a tap against a terminal.

According to Visa, the number of contactless point-of-sale terminals in the UK will rise by 50% to 150,000 this year. Yesterday supermarket giant Asda became the latest to commit to the technology, joining the likes of Waitrose, McDonalds, Boots, WH Smith and Tesco.

Meanwhile, Transport for London is currently upgrading all Oyster card readers across the capital to work at the touch of a bank-issued card or a handset. The new system is expected to be up and running on all of London's 8000 buses by the end of the year, with the Tube, DLR, Tram and London Overground network following in 2013.

Barclaycard claims that not only will there be a surge in contactless payments but that by 2016 half of these will be carried out using phones rather than cards.

David Chan, CEO, Barclaycard Consumer Europe, says: "More than half of us say that the item we're most lost without is our mobile phone, so we're giving people the option of using them to make easy, convenient, everyday payments without the need to upgrade their current handset."

The firm stresses that by opting for the relatively low-tech option of stickers it can bring mobile payments to all customers, no matter what handset they use. Manufactures, notably Nokia and Samsung, are adding NFC capabilities to a growing number of models but these are still owned by a tiny proportion of Brits.

Meanwhile, telco-led systems that use the SIM are still some way off - a fact highlighted last week when the European Commission extended its investigation into Project Oscar, the proposed JV from Everything Everywhere, Telefonica and Vodafone, over anti-competition concerns.

Barclaycard and its parent Barclays have a history of moving early in a bid to steal a march on rivals when it comes to new technology, issuing contactless cards before anyone else in the UK back in 2007.

Last week it teamed up with Orange to enable credit or debit card holders from all UK banks to load money onto Barclaycard's mobile payments application, in the Quick Tap wallet. Orange also confirmed that it would be making Quick Tap available on a range of Android phones.

In February, Barclays launched a person-to-person payments service, called Pingit, that enables Brits to send and receive money using mobile phone numbers, despite the fact that its fellow banks are in the process of collaborating on a similar joint system. Last week Pingit was opened up to non-customers, providing Barclays with a chance to hoover up more users before the rival service launches.

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