Barclay’s mobile banking now updated to include contactless mobile payments

Barclays_AndroidThis week, Barclays quietly upgraded its Android-based banking app to allow UK customers to make contactless payments worth up to £100 at eligible points of sale via their handsets. The bank has opted to provide the facility rather than support Google’s Android Pay service.
Both allow payments of up to £100 via compatible terminals, although sums over £30 require the use of a Pin code.

That Barclays is launching its own Android payments app isn’t exactly surprising, it has been very skeptical of Google’s Android Pay system and has so far declined to join the service. Barclays app requires Android smartphones with NFC support running version 4.4.2 KitKat or above, and allows customers to link Visa Barclaycards as well as Barclays debit cards.

Setup is simple enough: select “Contactless Mobile” in the menu, choose the default card for making contactless payments, and, within Android’s “Tap and Pay” menu, choose “Barclays Mobile Banking” as the default app. Completing a contactless payment is fairly simple, too: tap your phone to the point-of-sales terminal, enter your account PIN number, and then tap a second time to finish.

Barclays says its app also allows customers to carry on spending if they lose one of their physical cards. That is because if a card is cancelled, Barclays can immediately upload the details of its replacement to the app, as soon as it is issued. Also, the app features a persistent notification to let you know when tap-and-pay is enabled, and, more usefully, when it isn’t — a feature Android Pay and most other contactless services lack.

According to the company, Contactless Mobile can be used in roughly 400,000 locations across the UK as well as locations outside of UK as long as they accept contactless Visa payments. In addition, Contactless Mobile can also be used as an alternative to Oyster cards for using London’s public transport, and users will be able to access additional travel information by registering their details with TfL (Transport for London) online.

“Swiping your phone in a store doesn’t often offer that much benefit to the user compared with just using a contactless card,” said Jack Kent from the IHS Technology consultancy. “But what we think will be a big driver to adopting Android Pay or Apple Pay is the in-app purchases, in which people can have their shipping and billing information pre-loaded to help speed up transactions. That offers a very clear benefit to users that they can’t get via Barclays’ tool.”

Microsoft also launched a new version of its Wallet app this week that allows Windows 10-powered handsets to make contactless payments. However, it is currently limited to US-based phone owners.

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Categories: Mobile Payments

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