Barclays aims to challenge Apple and move contactless payments to wearables

Picture credit: Barclays

When ApplePay arrived on the scene – expected to hit the UK in July – offering users the comfort of using their iPhone 6 and Apple Watch to pay in shops and apps, it appeared a straightforward partnership opportunity for banks.

Barclays, however, is going down a different route, and is launching three “wearable” devices that can be used to make payments at 300,000 locations across the UK; a wristband, a fob, and a sticker. The bPay wristband was originally launched last year, with the latest iteration an update.

The service, which is available to anyone with a UK-registered Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card, enables users to add funds ‘on the go’ using either the mobile app, online, or be able to top their account up automatically when their balance falls below a pre-set level. The bPay devices will go on sale from July 1.

The bank has also outlined plans for a new integrated campaign across digital, social media and PR through a tagline of “Wear it. Clip it. Stick it”. From July 6, the Transport for London (TfL) home page will be advertised with bPay, while ‘key online influencers’ have also been signed up to create digital content around bPay.

Katherine Whitton, Barclaycard chief marketing officer, said: “We know from the launch of our original bPay wristband that our customers want new ways to pay that offer greater flexibility and choice, and fit better with different lifestyles. We are very excited to be meeting this demand by bringing an expanded range of wearable payment devices to the UK market for the first time.”

Currently, Barclays is the only major high street bank not to have signed up to ApplePay. It appears a bold move – but the company is putting its money where its mouth is to try and pull it off. in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their use-cases? Attend the co-located IoT Tech Expo, Blockchain Expo, AI & Big Data Expo and Cyber Security & Cloud Expo World Series with upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam and explore the future of enterprise technology.

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