Barclaycard launches three new bPay wearables

30 Jun 2015

Barclaycard, a subsidiary of Barclays banking group, has announced the launch of three new digital payment devices — a sticker, a fob and an updated wristband — to be made available from 1 July across the UK.

The devices make use of Barclaycard’s bPay technology, allowing contactless payments with a limit of £20. Any more than that necessitates the customer entering their pin number.

The system will operate on a pre-load basis. Customers can ‘top-up’ their wearables online, via an app, or automatically.

While devices are available to the public at large, it seems that the wristband at least is specifically geared toward those with an active lifestyle, with Barclaycard teaming up with high street Snow + Rock Group to sell the device. The idea is that runners or cyclists will be able to leave cumbersome wallets at home.

As with earlier incarnations of the technology, bPay devices do not require Barclays or Barclaycard membership — they are compatible with all UK Visa and MasterCards.

Barclays remains the only UK institution not to sign up for Apple Pay, and the new range of bPay devices will not be compatible with that payment system. Perhaps this announcement gives us the reason for that decision, as it appears that Barclays is positioning itself as Apple’s competitor, rather than capitulator.

As with Apple Pay, it remains unclear when, or indeed if, we can expect similar technology to hit Irish shores.

Kirsty Tobin was careers editor at Silicon Republic