The bank has signed a deal with payments provider Zapp that will allow users to make online transactions through Zapp’s ‘Pay by Bank’ application on smartphones.
The timing of the partnership suggests Barclays is weary of the threat posed by new FinTech players such as Apple, Google and Samsung.
Apple appears to be the most imminent threat now that leaked documents have revealed that the launch of its payment service, Apple Pay, will be rolled out on 14th July.
Barclays partnering up with Zapp therefore is a move to consolidate its position in the digital payments market and making concerted efforts to keep its customers.
The partnership is clearly a move by the bank to keep its payment service, Pingit, competitive in the market, an idea that is enforced by the fact that Barclays is the only high street bank in the UK to not offer the impending Apple Pay.
Barclays will integrate Zapp’s ‘Pay by Bank’ app into Pingit by October, which will allow users to pay on mobile at major retailers across the UK.
Sainsbury’s, Asda, House of Fraser, Thomas Cook and Shop Direct are among the major British retail brands that have already announced agreements with Zapp.
To try and increase Pingit’s popularity and usage, Barclays has made the payment service to anyone with a bank account and a smartphone, and not just Barclays customers.
The addition of ‘Pay by Bank app’ to the Pingit payments portfolio means that Barclays Corporate Banking will be able to act as a distributor of the new service to corporates operating in retail , transport, utilities, Local Authorities and financial services.
It’s a bold strategy by Barclays to take on the might of Apple Pay, but only time will tell whether the Bank’s decision will be vindicated.
“We’re now able to build on the success of Pingit and meet the growing demand from our customers to use their mobiles to pay for goods and services swiftly and securely,” said Darren Foulds, Managing Director of Mobile Payments, Barclays.
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