Barclays has announced plans to offer a new contactless payment app for Android phones, beating Google to offer such a service on the mobile platform.
Contactless Mobile will work on any NFC-enabled Android phone running KitKat, and allows Android owners to pay on contactless terminals, of which there are some 400,000 in the UK.
The service will be available from June, and will be phased in over a number of days. Customers will be contacted by Barclays when it becomes available.
Contactless Mobile allows the usual contactless payments of up to £30, but payments of £30 to £100 can be made if the customer re-enters their device passcode when using the app.
The move means that Barclays customers with Android phones can be the first to pay in this way. Google’s own Android Pay offering has still to launch in the UK, although it is slated to arrive this year.
Barclays has not yet signed up to Android Pay, and the new app launch is a clear indication that that the bank hopes to be able to give customers what they want from its own services, rather than relying on Google.
Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Barclays UK, explained that the firm is hopeful that customers will find the ability to pay in this way appealing.
“Giving customers the choice about how to make everyday payments, while making it really easy for people to use our services, is why we’ve designed this new contactless payment functionality which will sit at the heart of our already popular mobile banking app,” he said.
However, Barclays also tried to hold out against Apple Pay, and was the last bank in the UK to support the payment platform, despite numerous customer complaints. Barclays eventually relented and began supporting the platform in April.
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