Will HSBC and Lloyds follow Barclays by launching own contactless payment app?

- Finance - May 13, 2016

Barclays has revealed it will be rolling out its own contactless payment service for its customers on Android devices, offering a direct rival to Google’s own payment service.

It has become the first UK bank to offer its own, integrated service enabling contactless payments for both debit cards and credit cards on Android phones. HSBC and Lloyds currently offer Apple Pay services but are yet to announce any services of their own design, and risk falling behind in the digital banking stakes.

Contactless card payments have seen huge growth as consumers have recognised the ease, speed and convenience they offer. Barclays can now offer contactless payments via a smartphone for both credit and debit card holders across the broadest range of handsets and operating systems, without having to rely on an external developer like Google or Apple.

Barclays’ Contactless Mobile enables customers to pay with their Android mobile device in a very similar way to using a physical contactless card. For payments of up to £30, customers tap their mobile device on the retailer terminal in the same way they would tap a physical card without needing to open an app, enter a PIN or verify with a fingerprint, making it quicker and simpler than other solutions. The service also allows contactless payments of between £30 and £100 by a tap of the mobile device, entering of the card’s normal PIN on the phone keypad, and tapping again.   

The service is set up and managed within the Barclays Mobile Banking app, which is used by five million Barclays customers who on average access it 27 times per month. Integrating Contactless Mobile within the Barclays Mobile Banking app also means customers can view their Contactless Mobile transactions alongside their other account transactions in one familiar environment.

Contactless Mobile will be available in June. Once live, roll out to customers will be phased over a number of days and customers will be contacted by Barclays when the service becomes available.

Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK, said: “Giving customers the choice about how to make everyday payments while making it really easy for people to use our services is why we’ve designed this new contactless payment functionality which will sit at the heart of our already popular mobile banking app. 

“Barclays Contactless Mobile is the latest in a series of digital innovations we have launched that allow customers to ‘Pay it your way’ - carrying out day to day transactions in the ways that suit them and we hope that it will help customers become more confident using digital solutions and new technologies.”

HSBC, Lloyds and other UK banks will no doubt be taking note of Barclays’ latest digital drive. Can they afford to fall behind? 

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Read the May 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine.

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