OK, this is getting ridiculous. It was already going to be a confusing enough landscape with Android Pay, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay without the banks coming up with their own contactless payment systems as well. But that’s exactly what Barclays Bank in the UK has done, announcing it will release a banking app in June with support for a “Contactless Mobile” payment system.
The good news is that we’re not talking about an entirely new platform. The app will simply be an update to the existing Barclays bank app with support for NFC payments. With Contactless Mobile, the app will determine if a phone supports NFC and allow users to purchase up to £30 of goods simply by tapping their mobile against a payment terminal without needing to unlock the phone or open the app.
Contactless Mobile will also support payments between £30-£100 by tapping the device against the terminal, entering a PIN in the app and then tapping the phone again. Barclays has already had NFC-supported payments in its Barclaycard app for credit card customers, but Contactless Mobile will work for both credit and debit card holders. Barclays will advise customers when the feature becomes available sometime next month.
Are you using a contactless payment system yet? Do you think it matters if individual banks launch their own platforms?