Consumers want contactless wallets everywhere


Half would like to give current possessions a 21st century revamp, starting with watches

With contactless technology revolutionising the way we spend and shop, jewellery and watches are the personal items that the British public would most like to turn into a contactless way to pay, according to a new survey from Barclaycard.

At 62%, watches top the poll of items that Brits would most like to ‘future-fy’ for fast-paced, convenient payments, followed by inherited jewellery (21%) and wedding rings (19%).

The research suggests that a new trend of retrofitting items we wear with new functionality is emerging. The poll shows that almost half of Brits (49%) would like to give current possessions a 21st century revamp. A quarter (25%) also said they would wear their vintage items and family heirlooms more if they could customise them with contactless technology.

As well as breathing new life into cherished items, almost half (46%) of British consumers are keen for a contactless payment option which is not hard to find in the recesses of their bags. Brits spend an average of three and a half hours each year rummaging for their wallet or purse. The other items that we find the hardest to locate are our keys followed by the often elusive pen and our phone.

Of those who use contactless payments, 67% would prefer to add contactless functionality to something they already own or wear rather than purchasing a brand new wearable payment device. In fact, two in five consumers (42%) are put off by expensive wearable payment devices, or if the device is too bulky (39%) or large (35%). A quarter of those surveyed favour wearable payment devices that suit or can be adapted to their personal style.

Contactless spending is quickly becoming the payment method of choice, with the latest figures from The UK Cards Association showing that spending is up by 247% year on year to £1.9 billion a month. Nearly a fifth (18%) of all card purchases are now made using contactless technology, which is up from just less than one in ten (7%) in May 2015.

As consumer demand has risen for a discreet wearable payment option that can be added to wearables they already own, in particular watches and fitness bands, Barclaycard developed and launched bPay loop, a small chip holder that can be used to turn certain items into a contactless way to pay, at the beginning of July.

Tami Hargreaves, commercial director, digital consumer payments at Barclaycard, said: “Consumers have taken contactless payments to their heart and they are now making seven million transactions a day using it. Whether it’s your watch, bracelet, dog lead or pair of sunglasses, paying using your favourite item isn’t as far-fetched as it seems, as bPay loop can help turn everyday items into a quick, easy and secure way to pay.”

bPay loop has been designed to fit straps with an opening buckle measuring up to 22mm wide. It can be used for transactions of £30 and under, wherever contactless payments can be made.


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