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Barclaycard expands Quick Tap NFC service and offers PayTag stickers to Visa credit card holders

The UK-based financial institution has announced two enhancements to its mobile payments offering, increasing the reach of the Quick Tap NFC service it runs with Orange and announcing plans to provide all its Visa credit card customers with a free mobile contactless sticker.

Barclaycard PayTag stickers

PAYTAG: Barclaycard's stickers bring contactless — but not NFC — payments to phones

Barclaycard, the card issuing arm of UK-based financial institution Barclays, has announced plans to offer mobile stickers to millions of its Visa credit cardholders, under the Barclaycard PayTag brand name, and is expanding the Quick Tap NFC service it operates with mobile network operator Orange.

Quick Tap, launched in May 2011 via a strategic partnership between Barclaycard and Orange, has until now been available only to consumers with a Barclays Bank account and only on a limited range of mobile phones.

Now, credit or debit card holders from all UK banks will be able to load money onto the Barclaycard mobile payments application, which is stored in the Quick Tap wallet. Orange, meanwhile, has committed to making Quick Tap available on a range of Android smartphones, with the first to be announced in the coming weeks.

“This will be the first time that Quick Tap will be available to those without accounts with Barclaycard, Barclays or the Orange credit card,” says Barclaycard. “Customers can transfer up to a limit of £150 simply and securely directly from their account onto the Quick Tap app.

“Once loaded with money, the mobile is then ready to make single payments of up to £15 (rising to £20 in June), by simply tapping their phone on a contactless terminal. The user friendly Barclaycard payment app, which sits on the home screen of all Quick Tap compatible handsets, contains information such as electronic statements detailing Quick Tap purchases so customers can keep an eye on their spending and manage finances easily on the go.”

The move, says Barclaycard, “is part of the on-going evolution of the Quick Tap payment service and will allow even more consumers to benefit from easy, quick and convenient payments on the high street”.

“We strongly believe that mobile contactless will change the way we pay and that is why we’re opening the technology up so that everyone can choose to join the payments revolution,” explains David Chan, CEO of Barclaycard Consumer Europe. “Quick Tap will help consumers monitor what they’re spending, make simple payments and, as a result of the 100% fraud guarantee on all contactless products, ensure that if you lose your phone, you won’t lose your money.”

The new PayTag offering, meanwhile, will allow customers without an NFC phone to also begin the move to mobile payments — albeit in a limited way. The stickers offer exactly the same functionality as a standard contactless card and no added mobile-related functions are currently available, Barclaycard has told NFC World.

“Available at no cost, and exclusively to Barclaycard Visa cardholders, Barclaycard PayTag is an extension of a customer’s credit card account,”  the card issuer explains. “At a third of the size of a normal card, it can be discreetly and simply stuck to the back of any mobile phone. Once attached, it can be used to make payments of £15 and under, rising to £20 in June, by simply being held over a contactless payment terminal.”

An “exclusive group of customers” will be invited to receive their Barclaycard PayTag in the coming weeks, says the card issuer, “before they are offered to millions of Barclaycard customers later in the year.”

“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,” Chan explains. “Barclaycard PayTag is another milestone on our journey to make paying easier, and sits alongside other easy ways to pay with your mobile such as those we offer in partnership with Orange.”

The announcement comes as Visa predicts that the number of contactless point-of-sale terminals in the UK will rise by 50% to 150,000 this year. Major retailers that offer, or are introducing, contactless point-of-sale terminals in the UK include Waitrose, McDonalds, Boots, WH Smith and Tesco. By the end of 2012, London buses will also accept contactless payments, followed by the London Underground and the rest of the transport network in the capital in 2013.

Research carried out on Barclaycard’s behalf predicts that £3bn worth of purchases will be made with mobile phones in the UK in 2016.

A video highlighting the benefits of PayTag has been produced by Barclaycard:

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    PayTag falls short of what a mobile payments service should deliver in 2012, for two reasons. Firstly, it is merely an incomplete copy of just one of its user’s bank cards and secondly, it places a very low limit on the transaction amount, which requires that consumers have a back-up payment plan. In other words, PayTag users would still have to carry their physical wallets around. So what’s the point?

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