Barclaycard will offer contactless stickers to “millions” of its cardholders in the UK so enabling them to make payments using their existing mobile phones. The new service is called Barclaycard PayTag and is exclusive to Barclaycard Visa cardholders. Users attach the sticker, which is free, to the back of their existing handsets. However the service is unlikely to provide the same level of functionality as a full-fledged NFC-based handset although users can make payments at contactless terminals in locations such as retailers. They will be able to make payments via PayTag of up to £15 rising to £20 in June. Physically the sticker is about one third the size of an actual credit card. Barclaycard will trial PayTag with selected customers in coming weeks ahead of a wider introduction.
Visa predicts the number of contactless point-of-sale terminals in the UK will rise by 50 percent to 150,000 by the end of 2012. Leading retailers that already offer, or are in the process of introducing contactless payments, include Waitrose, McDonalds, Boots, WH Smith and Tesco. London’s buses will also accept contactless payments by the end of this year followed by the city’s underground network and the rest of its transport infrastructure in 2013.
Separately, Barclaycard and UK operator Orange (now Everything Everywhere) launched a NFC-based mobile payment service called Quick Tap in 2011. Last week the two companies said that credit or debit cardholders from all UK banks would be able to load money onto the service’s wallet, so broadening the service’s reach among Orange subscribers. The operator also said it would make the Quick Tap app available on a range of Android smartphones, with the first being announced in coming weeks.