If you didn't know, Britain now prefers cashless payments to notes and coins. Contactless cards play a big part in the shift away from cash, but as technology evolves, smartphones and wearables are beginning to influence matters too. Barclaycard has long supported contactless technology, via its PayTag NFC sticker or bPay bracelet, but the credit card provider recently pulled the products and warned that something new was coming. Indeed, Barclaycard is back with three "new" wearable bPay payment devices: a wristband, fob and sticker.
The products are all very familiar, but Barclaycard has returned with some new features. The company has launched a new website and app that allows bPay users to transfer money into their digital wallet, view purchases and change payment settings for each individual device (like when automatic top-ups balances run low). As before, the bPay wearables are available not only to Barclays and Barclaycard customers, but anyone with a UK-issued Visa or Mastercard debit or credit card.
The launch comes as Apple readies the launch of Apple Pay in the UK. Barclays confirmed it won't support the technology right away, and today's launch might be why. The sticker can be fixed anywhere, but was originally intended for smartphones with NFC, while the fob goes wherever your keys go. The wristband, however, looks like a fitness wearable (but doesn't act like one) and is designed for use at festivals or travelling on the Tube. In fact, they'll all work anywhere that supports contactless payments.
All three devices will go on sale via the bPay website from July 1st, but they come at a price. It'll cost £14.99 for the sticker, £19.99 for the fob and £24.99 for the band. Barclaycard also says that the wristband and fob will be available on the High Street for the first time and will head to CycleSurgery and Runners Need stores in August. At first, contactless payments will be limited to £20, but you'll get an extra tenner to play with from September.