Barclays has identified payments as a key growth opportunity worth £900 million over three years thank to areas such as merchant acquiring and the BNPL market.
On an analyst conference call about the bank's first quarter results, CEO Jes Staley revealed that payment now account for eight per cent of Barclays’ total income - £1.7 billion last year.
Staley says this number can grow by around £900 million over the next three years, with double digit growth in three areas: unified payments, "next-gen" commerce, and wholesale payment fees.
In November last year the bank moved into the buy now, pay later sector through a partnership with Amazon in Germany, offering customers a rolling credit line for future purchases from the e-commerce giant. The initiative is now being extended to the UK.
"This will grow our presence in e-commerce in two of the largest markets in Europe," says Staley. "Our partnership with Amazon reflects our growing focus on payments."
Barclays is the only major bank-owned acquirer in the UK and has managed to slash on-boarding times in the last couple of years from 14 days to two days through digitisation.
However, Staley says "we still have a long way to go," adding that: "Perhaps the most important investment Barclays will make in the next five years is to connect our small business banking and our merchant acquiring business, particularly as it relates to e-commerce."
Meanwhile, the bank is working on an initiative called Barclays Cubed to better connect merchants and customers.
Staley offers up a scenario: "A merchant is able to connect with a consumer digitally by offering a discount via their Barclays mobile banking app. That consumer can then make a purchase on the merchant’s website and, if they choose to, we can instantly approve them to pay for their shopping using instalments.
"Finally, the digital receipt and the loyalty points are automatically added to their Barclays wallet."