Barclays is adding a fourth product to its bPay contactless range, which will turn watches or fitness bands into a contactless way to pay.
bPay was first trialled in 2012, before being made widely available in June 2015 when three devices – a wristband, fob and sticker – went on sale. Since then, over 100,000 bPay products have been sold and used to make a million transactions totalling just over £5m.
It’s also been used in partnership with clothing brands such as Lyle & Scott, a collaboration that put out a contactless jacket.
What is it?
Called bPay Loop, it’s made from a durable, textured silicon and slides onto the strap of any existing watch or fitness trackers with an open buckle. The bank says it made the product to cater to the customer demand for a way to add payment functionality to wearables they already own – in particular watches and fitness wearables.
Where can I use it?
As with the other bPay devices, it is available to anyone with a UK-registered Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card, not just Barclaycard or Barclays customers. Customers add funds to a digital wallet that is linked to the device and can then use it pay for transactions of £30 and under, wherever contactless payments can be made – currently over 400,000 locations across the UK.
The product and the digital wallet can be controlled through the bPay mobile app or online. There is an option of setting up automatic top-ups when the balance falls below a certain amount.
What happens if it’s lost?
If lost or stolen, users can remotely shut down their device via the app, online, or by contacting the bPay team.
“Thanks to the huge growth we are seeing in contactless payments, we are increasingly becoming accustomed to being able to make low-value payments throughout the day, in a quick, easy, convenient way. Loop makes that easier than ever,” said Tami Hargreaves, Commercial Director, Digital Consumer Payments at Barclaycard.
bPay has partnered with Mondaine, the Swiss watch manufacturer known globally for its iconic Swiss railway clock watch face, and Garmin, which has developed a range of wearable fitness technology, to offer Loop to those purchasing selected items from both brands from July.
How much does it cost?
Loop has been designed to fit wristbands with an opening buckle and measuring 22 mm wide and under. It costs £19.99 and goes on sale online on the bPay e-store at www.bpay.co.uk from 7th July. Both the wallet and devices are free to use, with no transaction, usage or top-up fees for consumers, including when used abroad.
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Following a milestone in August, when spending via contactless accounted for 20% of all card transactions in the UK, the technology has reached another: contactless now makes up a quarter of all UK card transactions, according to the latest figures from the UK Card Association (UKCA).