Barclaycard is telling customers to "stick it," at least when it comes to mobile payments. The company announced the launch of a mobile payment program called PayTag that uses an NFC-enabled sticker affixed to the back of a mobile device to make contactless payments at point of sale terminals. It turns any mobile phone, even those without NFC capabilities, into a mobile payment device.
"Today, we are offering the choice of mobile payments to millions of our customers at no additional cost to them," said David Chan, CEO of Barclaycard Consumer Europe, in a statement. "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."
At the moment, PayTag is available at no cost to Barclaycard's Visa cardholders and is simply an extension of an existing credit card account. And it can only be used for purchases under £15 (about $25). The limit will be raised to £20 in June.
But Chan said PayTag is another step in Barclaycard's efforts to bring mobile payments to market.
"Barclaycard is developing a wide range of initiatives which will ultimately enable everyone to enjoy the benefits of mobile payments," Chan said.
Barclaycard said predictions from Visa projected the number of contactless POS terminals in the U.K. to more than 150,000 this year, an annual increase of 50 percent. Those terminals are placed in major British retailers and restaurants such as Waitrose, McDonalds, Boots, WH Smith and Tesco. Additionally, London buses will accept contactless payments by the end of the year, with other major transportation systems such as the London subway system accepting contactless payments in 2013.
The company also released a promotional video of the PayTag program:
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