I’ve never had a problem emptying my bank account, but just to be on the safe side, Barclays yesterday announced the launch of the Barclaycard PayTag. Extending a regular credit card account, the PayTag sticks to the back of a mobile handset and siphons cash – although obviously only when you tell it to – PayTag’s not a snitch.
The PayTag is a third of the size of a normal card and can be easily stuck to the back of a phone used to make payments of £15 and under, rising to £20 in June, by simply being held over a contactless payment terminal.
David Chan, CEO of Barclaycard Consumer Europe, said: “Today, we are offering the choice of mobile payments to millions of our customers at no additional cost to them. 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.”
I remember my first NFC payment was at Pret a Manger, when I went out of my way to get an avocado sandwhich to test the technology (see how I suffer for you people). Nowadays they are more common and Visa (who obviously have a vested interest) predicts that the number of contactless point-of-sale terminals in the UK will rise by 50% to 150,000 this year and include include major vendors such as Waitrose, McDonalds, Boots, WH Smith and Tesco. By the end of 2012, London buses will also accept contactless payments, followed by the Tube and the rest of the transport network in the Capital in 2013 (I feel there’s an easy joke to make about the Tube’s plan being delayed but I can’t be bothered to make the barest amount of effort … like the Tube).
Barclaycard predicts that £3 billion worth of purchases will be made with mobile phones in the UK in 2016. If you want to throw your hard earned Sterling into that pot then head to barclaycard.co.uk/paytag.