While Barclays continues to drag its heels on mobile payments via iPhones, it is set to become the first UK bank to introduce contactless payments from any NFC-enabled Android phone.
The activation of the bank's Android app for NFC will take place next month, enabling customers to use their handsets for ‘touch and go’ payments at over 300,000 locations in the UK, as well as across the London transport network. Transaction values will be limited to £30, rising to £100 if users enter the PIN on their mobile device.
In a market-first, a real-time replacement service will allow lost and stolen cards to be replaced with a virtual card to be downloaded instantly onto the app, enabling customers to continue to make contactless payments using their phones without a break in service while they wait for the physical replacement to arrive.
Mike Saunders, managing director of digital consumer payments at Barclaycard, says: “Barclaycard has a strong history of innovation and we're constantly looking for new ways to revolutionise payments. These new features transform Android phones into a mobile hub for our customers allowing them to manage their account on the go, make contactless payments up to £100 and have a lost or stolen card instantly re-issued - letting them continue to make contactless payments straightaway."
Barclays utilisation of its own app for mobile payments comes as Lloyds Banking Group and M&S Bank joins the ranks of UK financial service providers switching on support for Apple Pay, following its launch in the UK in July.
Although it has promised to join the Apple Pay bandwagon at some undefined date 'in the future', Barclays appears to be adopting a go-it-alone strategy with its roll-out of mobile payments, preferring to retain the primary contact with the customer rather than providing the rails for interlopers like Apple, Google and Samsung to hitch a free ride.