Barclays is launching the UK’s first Android contactless payment service, which will allow customers to use their smartphone to “wave and pay” in shops, restaurants and across the London transport network. Offered as a direct rival to Google’s Android Pay which launches in the UK this year, Barclays’ Contactless Mobile will enable customers to pay with their Android handset in the same way as a contactless bank card. The service is expected go live in June.
Contactless card payments have boomed in the past few years, helped by increasing numbers of contactless cards in wallets, and far more contactless terminals in shops and restaurants. Visa have already made the claim that 3bn contactless transactions were made across Europe in the past 12 months, three times as many as the year before.
Barclays said its service would be incorporated into its Barclays mobile banking app, which is used by 5 million customers. However, only customers who have one of the latest Android smartphones will be able to make contactless payments. To make a purchase up to the contactless maximum of £30 the phone will have to be turned on, but no bank card has to be present. Users select a default bank card within the app, but can switch to another before purchase if required. The service will also allow contactless payments up to £100 with the use of a pin typed into the phone’s keypad.
“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 contactless payment functionality. It’s all there in one place, ready to go with no need to enter card details, delivering a brilliant experience in an instant,” said Ashok Vaswani, chief executive of Barclays UK.