Barclays has unveiled three new digital payment devices in the form of a sticker, a key fob and a wristband, suggesting that the bank isn’t giving up on its desire to lead the development of digital payments even as Apple Pay plans to launch in the UK.
The bPay technology works in a similar way to a contactless bank card so if the sticker, fob or wristband is held near a contactless terminal it will automatically make the payment.
The devices can be pre-loaded with a set amount of cash via an app or online portal, and can be set to automatically top up to a pre-specified amount if it falls below a certain level.
It will work with any Visa or MasterCard, not just Barclays cards, so customers of other banks can use the technology. A £20 spending limit is currently in place for contactless payments, although this will rise to £30 in September.
Barclays said that the new tools could be used by cyclists or runners, for example, who could wear the wristband when exercising and make purchases without having to carry cash or a wallet.
As part of this effort, Barclays has confirmed that the devices will be on sale through the Snow + Rock Group, whose shops include CycleSurgery and Runners Need.
Trudy Hills, commercial director at Snow + Rock Group, said that the firm was impressed with the devices and could definitely see the appeal to customers.
“The bPay range allows us to offer our on-the-go sports enthusiasts an easy way to pay whether they’re running, climbing, cycling or just going about their busy lives,” she said.
Mike Saunders, managing director for digital consumer payments at Barclaycard, explained that the devices are in response to the evolving nature of payment technologies.
“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,” he said.
Barclays remains the only major UK bank not to confirm support for Apple Pay, and the launch of a new range of bPay devices suggests that the bank does not necessairly want to cede control of the space to Apple.
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