Last week Barclaycard announced the launch of PayTag, a new smart sticker that fixes to mobile phones and allows consumers to pay for goods.
This kind of technology has been talked about for a while now and many articles have been written about the inevitable explosion of mobile banking. One recent study by Consumers and Mobile Financial Services concluded that the ubiquity of mobile phones is clearly changing the way consumers access financial services. According to the study, 87% of the U.S. population has a mobile phone, and 44% of those are internet-enabled smartphones. 21% of mobile phone owners have used mobile banking in the past 12 months. Compare that to the 68% of those consumers with regular internet access and a bank account who have used online banking in the past 12 months. In simple terms, mobile banking has exploded into a channel about one-third the size/significance of online banking …and it’s still growing strong.
The new Barclaycard PayTag barclaycard.co.uk/personal/paytag is an extension of a customer’s credit card account. At a third of the size of a normal card, it can be discreetly and simply stuck to the back of any mobile phone. Once attached, it can be used to make payments of £15 and under, rising to £20 in June, by simply being held over a contactless payment terminal. Millions of Barclaycard Visa credit card customers will be able to make “contactless” payments using the free PayTag sticker, which connects with special readers placed at shops, restaurants and transport to make payments.
This follows the launch of Barclays PingIt, a mobile app that allows users with any UK bank account to send money to anyone just by using their mobile phone number. Unlike PingIt, PayTag is only available to Barclaycard customers.
“Today, we are offering the choice of mobile payments to millions of our customers at no additional cost to them,” said David Chan, the chief executive of Barclaycard consumer Europe.
“More than half of us say that the item we’re most lost without is our mobile phone, so we’re giving people the option of using them to make easy, convenient, everyday payments without the need to upgrade their current handset.”
Last week, Barclaycard announced a partnership with Orange to enable the mobile giant’s credit and debit card holders from all UK banks to load money on the Barclaycard mobile payments app, and then use a Quick Tap wallet service for contactless payments. Orange said that Quick Tap will be launched on a range of Android smartphones in the coming weeks.
Concerns have been raised over security as the contactless payments do not always require a security identifier, such as a PIN number, meaning they could be exploited by fraudsters. However, Barclaycard PayTag comes with the same 100% fraud protection available with any Barclaycard, so if the phone (and its PayTag sticker) are stolen, the customer is covered.