Barclaycard unveils mini, stick-on credit card

Barclaycard PayTag The PayTag is waved over a contactless terminal to register payment

The latest salvo in the battle to launch a digital wallet has been unveiled - with a mini, stick-on credit card.

Barclaycard is hoping that UK customers attach the extra card to their mobile phones and use them at "contactless" terminals for everyday purchases.

This wave-and-pay technology has been in place for a few years.

It allows cardholders to spend up to £15 at certain stores, without entering a Pin.

However, the latest product, which will be available to millions of Barclaycard customers by the end of the year, remains some way short of interactive banking on a mobile phone.


The Barclaycard PayTag is being offered to a group of customers who will receive letters in the coming days. It is one third of the size of a standard credit card, with a sticky reverse side.

It will be sent without charge to customers who request it and will come in addition to their regular credit card.

The credit card provider believes that people should stick it to the back of their mobile phone handset because most adults carry their phone with them at all times. Cardholders may choose to attach it to their wallet or a key ring, instead.

Costs to retailers

  • Cash: 1.7p per transaction
  • Debit card: 9.2p per transaction
  • Cheque: 14.8p per transaction
  • Credit card: 37.1p per transaction

Source: British Retail Consortium, 2011

Barclaycard's Tom Gregory said that the new product gave anyone the opportunity to use a credit card stuck to their phone, without having to upgrade their mobile.

However, the implication is that a big take-up would eventually allow Barclaycard to approach mobile phone manufacturers with evidence that inserting a payment chip in a handset would be popular.

So far, this technology is available to some Barclaycard customers with certain Orange phones in the UK, but it has not yet taken off as it has in other countries such as Japan.

David Chan, chief executive of Barclaycard Consumer Europe, said he wanted the product to "open people's eyes to mobile payments".

Retailers' concerns

Contactless technology is available on a range of credit and debit cards.

Paying by phone Japan has been using contactless mobile payment in shops since 2004

Originally there was a limit of £10 on wave-and-go purchases. That maximum level now stands at £15 and is set to increase to £20 in June.

This is generally the kind of amount spent on debit cards, rather than credit cards, although Barclaycard is clearly encouraging customers to make more everyday purchases on a credit card. These will then be outlined on their monthly statement.

Some users may worry that a card visibly stuck to the back of their phone makes it more attractive to thieves. But if a card is used fraudulently, banks must make refunds without question.

If the card is used differently to the cardholder's normal habits, then Barclaycard will contact the customer to check there are no security issues.

So far, contactless payment is permitted at stores including Tesco, Boots, Pret a Manger and Eat.

However, since its launch, concerns have been raised that as more people choose to use cards instead of cash, the cost to retailers increases.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) estimates that accepting cash payments costs shops on average 1.7p per transaction, but a bank charges the shop on average about 9.2p per transaction for debit card transactions and 37.1p for credit card transactions.

The BRC has said that some shops may have to increase prices to pay the extra charges.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 180.

    You all realise that Myth Busters was blocked from showing just how insecure this technology is? The pay and wave tech uses an RFID chip that sends out a signal and can be copied by Palm Pilots and other devices, it can then be put onto another card for your account by a criminal to be charged to you, you only have to be in 100 meters of the card to get the info. DO NOT USE!

  • rate this

    Comment number 179.


    NOT especially if your on a contract deal.

    It should be especially if you are (or you're) on a contract deal

    The word your means belonging to i.e. your grammar issue

  • rate this

    Comment number 178.

    This seems a good idea but I don't like the attitude this article is leaning towards in terms of theft. It's basically saying, don't worry about theft as the bank will always give your money back. I'd rather not have to go through the experience of being mugged at all and the inconvenience of losing my phone with all my personal information on would be huge. Then the Police/insurance reports too!

  • rate this

    Comment number 177.

    So not only does a thief get the phone, they get a credit card as well. Who do you think pays for that?
    The only people who benefit from this are the banks, by reducing transaction costs. Shops will reduce staff, so there will be the same queues. Fraud will increase because it is even less secure, and account holders will pay the cost in increased charges and fees.

  • rate this

    Comment number 176.

    This should see mobile thefts/robberies increase. I work in the Criminal Justice System and often have to surrender my phone to enter certain areas (court cells, prisons etc), I won't be increasing the risk of misuse. A silly idea, not fully thought out.

  • rate this

    Comment number 175.

    Since when did a cash transaction cost 1.7p??? Accepting cash is surely the most expensive of all for retailers because:
    1) It takes the cashier longer to handle cash. 2) You need someone (appropriately senior) to cash it all up at then end of the day. 3) You need a security company to carry the cash backwards and forwards. 4) A secure central office to handle it all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 174.

    Haven't seen anyone mention the tracking/marketing aspect. If this replaces cash (or is even just widespread) then "somewhere" all of your purchases are logged. Next step toward total targeted marketing. This plus augmented reality glasses and we literally won't be able to escape adverts anywhere.

  • rate this

    Comment number 173.

    W. Heath Robinson couldn't have thought up anything better!

  • rate this

    Comment number 172.

    I see the benefit of having a quick and easy way to pay for goods. Is using a wireless credit card such a good idea though. The information needed to make the purchase would be transmitted, how long before fraudsters start using hand held devices....maybe an Smart Phone app?

    Think i'll stick to cash thanks.

  • rate this

    Comment number 171.

    This is a bad idea. Not from a Credit/Debt/Tech one but a personal security one. Ask any loss prevention expert - keep valuable personal items separate. Keys in one pocket, phone in another, wallet in yet another etc...

    By 'sticking' a credit card to the back of your phone you are giving a any potential thief a two-for-one opportunity, particularly if you have a very nice, top spec, mobile phone.

  • rate this

    Comment number 170.

    Cashless transactions? Great. But do CC companies really think I'm going to stick their gloomy icky card onto my beautiful shiny iPhone???? Ha! No way!!! (No apologies for being shallow and a bit of a Fanboi!)

  • rate this

    Comment number 169.

    My bank were doing a trial for contactless cards, so i signed up. The only place i have ever been to that has this system is McDonalds, so i pay in record time, and then wait at window 2 for longer...
    This will be useful if / when it is used in corner shops etc

  • rate this

    Comment number 168.

    One minor flaw that I guarantee they haven't thought of is heat. Most smartphones have a battery that can heat up quiet a lot and heat is the worst enemy of adhesives. If you're lucky, it will fall off in your pocket. If you're not so lucky, in the street where someone to go on a £15 spending spree!

  • rate this

    Comment number 167.

    Im astonished by the "Don't try to fix what is not broken" comments. Wouldnt be surprissed if they were made by the older gereration where anything new must be evil. If this was the mentality of the world we would still be listening to casettes and working on our MS DOS computers, This is a step forward for technology and convenience which (although may not be perfect yet) should be emraced.

  • rate this

    Comment number 166.

    I am quite happy for it to take 30 seconds for me to pay as it does now. That way, I have to think a bit more before I spend my money, and it's a bit harder to impulse purchase, just grabbing things off a shelf and paying in an instant. People spend so much on crap they don't need - e.g food/drinks at 10 times the price & 1/10th the quality you can make quickly at home etc.

  • rate this

    Comment number 165.

    So people say they are worried about a thief stealing their phone and then spending lots of £15 increments. Ok so lets think about this one. I am sure that theives are not going to after stealing a mobile phone, spend a good deal of time buying coffee or tickets or sandwiches for less than £15 leaving a blue print of where they have been. Seriously, some people need to think about what they say.

  • rate this

    Comment number 164.

    However re comment #130

    A payment of £15 at 1% credit card charge would actually be 15p rather than 1.5p.
    A payment of £1.50 at 1% charge would be 1.5p

    So yes there is a big difference on credit card charges as it depends on the amount spent....

  • rate this

    Comment number 163.

    Phone gets stolen, (a lot easier than stealing an ordinary credit card). thief uses attached card to go on mini spending spree. can't phone card company to cancel card as phone got stolen. Seems like a pretty tight vicious circle to me.

  • rate this

    Comment number 162.

    At Def Con 15 a box was displayed capable of reading and decrypting the information from a contactless creditcard over a reasonable distance, this technology was only a proof of concept at the time but I can only assume that they are in the hands of criminals by now. No need to pick your pocket to get your credit card details, just walk past them.

  • rate this

    Comment number 161.

    No way would I use one. Yet another way to get your mobile stolen, plus loose multiple £15s as well.


Page 6 of 14


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