Barclaycard has entered the wearables market with a new range of devices aimed at kick-starting mobile payments.
The ‘touch and go’ devices will enable contactless payments for Visa and MasterCard debit or credit card customers. Barclaycard will expand its existing bPay portfolio to include a wristband, fob and sticker which customers can stick onto smartphones to turn their devices into a digital wallet.
Mobile wallet, bPay will also be linked to each of the three new devices, with users able to use the platform to buy, manage and top-up their wearable. Mike Saunders, MD, digital consumer payments, explained that Barclaycard will lead innovation in the payments market.
He said: ‘The launch of our bPay band last year was an evolutionary step for the business, with highly positive customer feedback. People told us they are looking for new ways to pay that offer greater flexibility and choice, and fit better with different lifestyles. So we’re building on this success with our expanded bPay proposition.
‘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. We’re leading the innovation that will enable everyone to pay in a convenient, flexible, and secure way.’
The announcement follows Apple’s plans to launch its mobile payment service in the UK, with Barclaycard choosing to not support Apple Pay. Instead, it has chosen to develop its own technology, in a move that the rest of the sector has yet to follow.
Kevin Jenkins, UK & Ireland Managing Director Visa Europe, described Barclaycard’s bPay push as ‘the reality of UK payments today’. He explained that the company is in a good position, explaining that as the market matures, consumers will look to their banks, rather than mobile companies, to develop the technology for faster mobile payments.