Barclays takes on Apple with wearable payments

Barclays takes on Apple with wearable payments

Barclaycard is rolling out three new wearable payments devices - a wristband, fob and sticker - that can be used to make ‘touch and go’ contactless payments across the UK.

Operating under the bPay brand, the wearables come with a brand new online portal and multi-platform app that will allow users to buy, manage and top-up their cash. Alternatively, customers can set their account to top-up automatically when their balance falls below a pre-set level.

Available to all UK consumers, whether a Barclays' customer or not, the kit can be used to pay for transactions up to the value of £20, rising to £30 when the contactless payment limit is increased in September, at over 300,000 locations across the UK.

The launch follows a successful one-year trial of Barclays' first generation of contactless wristbands, which pulled in up to 10,000 users. Registrations for the band spiked following Transport for London going contactless in September last year.

The new range of devices will go on sale online on the brand new bPay e-store at from 1 July and will also be available to buy at high street retailers, beginning with the outdoor sports merchant Snow + Rock Group.

Prices are £14.99 for the bPay sticker, £19.99 for the bPay fob and £24.99 for the bPay band. If lost or stolen, users can remotely shut down their device via the mobile app or website, or by contacting the bPay team.

Mike Saunders, managing director, digital consumer payments at Barclaycard says: “We’re in the midst of a sweeping change in the way we pay, with cash-dominated transactions being replaced by ‘touch and go’ contactless technology that has made it easier, safer and faster to make low-value payments."

The launch coincides with the UK arrival of Apple Pay, which has secured the backing of eight of the country's biggest banks, a host of merchants, and Transport for London. Pointedly, Barclays has yet to commit to the service.

Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland managing director Visa Europe, the processor of all bPay transactions, says: “From our own research we know consumers see their bank as a key provider of this kind of innovation. Going forward the challenge is to continue to answer this demand. As a nation we are already a world leader in designing and building payments. Ideas like bPay can help ensure we remain that way.”

Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 30 June, 2015, 11:441 like 1 like

Could there ever be a more misleading article? No-where that I've read have Barclaycard said this is an Apple Pay competitor. Rather it's an enhancement of existing services and products that have been available for several years. 

Given the lenght of time the sticker and wristband have been out, perhaps we should have said Applepay takes on bPay?