Barclays first UK bank to launch contactless payments

Barclay's Mobile AppBarclays are to roll out a full contactless service on eligible NFC-enabled Android phones in June this year. They will become the first UK bank to offer its own, integrated service enabling contactless payments for both debit cards and credit cards on Android phones.

PayPal appear to be falling behind in UK off-line payments. They made strides with PayPal CheckIn and PayPal Here, but both these service rely on the retailer using PayPal technology or hardware. Barclays have done what PayPal didn’t and fully embraced NFC to deploy their contactless solution, something that PayPal now intend to do “some time in 2016” in partnership with Vodafone.

The solution from Barclays is elegant in that it will be built into their mobile banking app which doubtless most Barclays customers will already have installed on their mobile handset.

In June an updated version of the Barclays Mobile Banking app will be rolled out and automatically detect whether you are eligible for Contactless Mobile – i.e. do you have a compatible NFC-enabled phone running Android Kit Kat or later and an eligible Barclays debit card or eligible Barclaycard. Customers simply select the card they want to be used as the default card and they’re ready to go contactless at any of the 400,000 contactless locations in the UK and across the London transport network.

Once set up, Barclays contactless Mobile enables customers by simply tapping their mobile device on the retailer terminal without needing to open an app, enter a PIN or verify with a fingerprint, making it quicker and simpler than other solutions. Currently, payments up to £30 can be made with contactless in the UK.

Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK, said: “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. It’s all there, in one place, ready to go with no need to enter card details, delivering a brilliant experience in an instant“.