To launch bPay, its latest contactless payment venture, Barclaycard is giving away 10,000 of the wearable devices to London commuters.
The wristbands contain a chip that allows users to make payments of under £20 wherever contactless payments are accepted. As this includes TFL travel barriers, it could potentially speed up commuting times as travellers wave their wrists over sensors as they pass, rather than stopping to hunt for their Oyster or payment cards.
“Every second counts to Londoners on the morning commute and having to rummage around for your wallet, hunt down your purse from the depths of your bag, or encountering the dreaded red light at the ticket barrier can feel like it’s adding ages to the day,” said Tami Hargreaves, Head of Contactless at Barclaycard. “With bPay band you just hold your wrist to the card reader to pay for your travel, you can then also use it to pay for your coffee on the way into the office, and lunchtime sandwich.”
Barclaycard says that they will also help people avoid “card clash,” which can happen when two payment cards are accidentally presented at the same time. This can be a common problem when cards are kept together in a wallet.
To use the wristband, customers will need to top up a pre-paid account in the same way that they currently use their Oyster card. The device itself is free of charge and there are no additional usage fees. The first 10,000 people to register at www.bpayband.co.uk/contactless will be sent a wristband before the end of September and will be able to activate it for use straight away.
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