A ‘tap and pay’ wristband that people can wear on the go has been unveiled by Barclaycard and will go on sale from Wednesday.
The ‘bPay’ device comes with a wristband, fob and sticker and will be made available to people aged 12 and above. It works in a similar way to contactless cards and can be used at more than 300,000 locations across the UK.
The wristband is priced at £24.99. The fob, which can be attached to a key ring or bag, has a price tag of £19.99. The sticker, which can be attached to any item to transform it into a contactless way to pay, will cost £14.99.
The devices will be available to anyone with a UK-registered Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card - not just Barclaycard and Barclays bank customers. People using the wristbands will be able to set them up by going to a website or using an app, where they can choose to top the devices up with set amounts of cash if they want to.
Apart from the up-front cost of buying the devices, there are no transaction, usage or top-up fees for consumers, Barclaycard said. As with contactless cards, a £20 transaction limit will apply to the devices, even though the contactless transaction limit is increasing to £30 from September.
Asked how children aged 12 might use the devices, a spokeswoman for Barclaycard said that parents could have their children's devices linked to their account. As the parent can set the amount of cash that the device is topped up with, they can control how much their child spends.
A bPay wristband was launched in June last year, for which registrations spiked after Transport for London went contactless in September, according to Barclaycard. The new wristband has been developed following feedback on the one launched previously.
Barclaycard has also recently trialled pairs of contactless payment gloves which could be used by people touching the back of their hand on the reader at the till, as E&T reported.
People's use of contactless payments has surged over the last year. According to a recent report from the UK Cards Association, 2014 saw a rapid growth in contactless card use, with £2.32 billion of spending. More contactless transactions took place during the first nine months of the year than the previous six years combined.
The British Bankers' Association recently said that consumers using contactless cards have collectively saved more than 93 years at the check-out since they were introduced. On average, it takes half a second to tap and go with a contactless card while it takes seven seconds to pay by chip and pin.
Mike Saunders, managing director, digital consumer payments at Barclaycard, said: “We're in the midst of a sweeping change in the way we pay, with cash-dominated transactions being replaced by 'touch and go' contactless technology that has made it easier, safer and faster to make low-value payments.