Barclaycard’s new partnership sees smartphone cases go contactless

Barclaycard has partnered with Case Station, a company that makes personalised phone cases, to embed contactless technology in the latter’s smartphone cases.

The technology comes courtesy of Barclaycard’s bPay range, namely the NFC sticker, which is inserted into the case. The case then becomes like any other product in the bPay wearable range that includes a fob, the wristband and the Loop.

What is interesting about this particular product is that you don’t actually need to be a Barclays or Barclaycard customer, you just need to have a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card, registered to a UK address. This means this Barclaycard product can be used with Apple, Samsung and LG smartphones.

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It is an interesting move, especially when one considers how strongly Barclaycard and Barclays believed in having its own mobile payment services. It initially resisted partnering with Apple Pay when it first came out and is currently not working with Android Pay, electing instead to roll out its own contactless service.

It does seem to be a strange move given that the very phones these cases are made for already have their own agnostic payment services. But Barclaycard has a history of integrating new payment methods into external parties’ products. It worked with Lyle & Scott on a contactless jacket (although it was just a jacket with a strategically-placed cavity for an NFC chip) and recently did two Topshop ranges.

Tami Hargreaves, commercial Director, digital consumer payments, Barclaycard, says: “Launched in 2015, bPay is the ideal addition to the Case Station range as it instantly turns your phone into a way of making simple, flexible, and secure contactless payments for everyday purchases.”

See the full range here.

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