Barclaycard bypasses NFC handsets with PayTag cards

Stick-on credit card

Barclaycard is targeting the contactless payments market with a stick-on credit card that users can attach to their mobile phones, or other devices, to complete wave-and-pay transactions in store. The firm is hoping that its new PayTag cards, which are a quarter of the size of traditional credit cards and are linked to user’s Barclaycard accounts, will accelerate the uptake of mobile payments. So far, the mass take-up of contactless payments has proved elusive as rival services compete to dominate the market, with the adoption of technologies such as NFC remaining low.

More than half of us say that the item we’re most lost without is our mobile phone, so we’re giving people the option of using them to make easy, convenient, everyday payments without the need to upgrade their current handset,” says Barclaycard Europe CEO David Chan. 

PayTag stickers will effectively transform any device into an NFC-enabled handset, meaning they can be set up as mobile wallets. Very few devices currently include NFC, and those that do are at the high-end of the market, limiting the adoption of payments based on the technology. 

The release of PayTag cards is just the latest mobile payment option to hit the market, as competition for consumer loyalty continues to intensify. Currently, a range of different technologies are available in the rapidly expanding mobile payments market, with companies such as Square and iZettle offering card readers while services from the likes of Google Wallet are based on NFC. A number of analysts have previously forecast that NFC-based mobile payments will become the standard in the market, but so far there is little sign of this happening. 

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