Battle brewing as payments move from wallet to wrist

Brits will soon be able to buy a $US40 wristband to make contactless payments

The Apple watch

The Apple watch

The growing popularity of contactless payments and wearables are coming together on products such as the Apple Watch and the £24.99 ($US40) bPay wristband from British company Barclaycard.

The two companies are looking to benefit from a growing interest in contactless payments.

In the UK payments made this way using mainly credit and debit cards rose 331 per cent year-on-year last year with 319 million transactions, and the launch of Apple Pay has shown there is an appetite for contactless payments in the U.S.

Apple and Barclaycard are pitching their products, the Watch and the bPay wristband, as a convenient way to make payments. It's hard to argue with that; since users just have to lean over to make a payment as opposed to take out a card from their wallet or get out the smartphone.

They are likely to soon get more competition. Recently it was reported that Jawbone and American Express are working on a fitness band with support for payments. Fitbit has said the company is open to the idea too.

Other candidates to get support for contactless payments are future Android Wear-based smartwatches. For now, though, Google and Samsung Electronics are focusing on smartphones with the upcoming Android Pay and Samsung Pay, respectively.

In addition to the band, Barclaycard also announced a keyfob and a sticker for making contactless payments. All three will go on sale on July 1. The bPay sticker costs £14.99 and the bPay keyfob is priced at £19.99.

Barclaycard is likely hoping the low price tags will make up for the fact they only have one use. The company knows the future is integrating payments with wearables that can be used for many things. It's in discussion with a number of possible partners but can't say anything more at this stage, according to a spokesman.

The bPay products can make payments at over 300,000 locations and are available to anyone with a U.K. Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card. Users can add funds online, using a new mobile app, or set their account to top up automatically when the balance falls below a certain level, Barclaycard said.

The launch follows a trial that started last year, also using a wristband. Barclaycard choosing to go from test to real products is a vote of confidence for contactless payments.

Apple and Barclaycard will go head-to-head when Apple Pay is also launched in the U.K., in July.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags GoogleAppleconsumer electronicsSamsung ElectronicsBarclaycard

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?