Launches new way to add payment functionality to watches and fitness bands
Barclaycard has today launched the bPay Loop, a discreet chip holder that instantly turns thousands of watches, smartwatches and fitness bands into a contactless way to pay.
Loop, the fourth product in the bPay contactless payment family, comes in response to customer demand for a way to add payment functionality to wearables they already own, in particular watches and fitness bands.
It becomes the first product widely available in the UK to offer consumers the opportunity to add payment capability to their existing devices.
Made from durable, textured silicon, Loop slides onto the strap of any existing watch or fitness band with an open buckle to create a new way to pay. As with the other bPay devices, it is available to anyone with a UK-registered Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card, not just Barclaycard or Barclays customers.
Customers add funds to a digital wallet that is linked to the device and can then use it pay for transactions of £30 and under, wherever contactless payments can be made; currently over 400,000 locations across the UK.
Designed to appeal to those looking to make quick, easy, convenient contactless payments, Loop is ideal for commuters as it makes paying for public transport journeys quicker; for shoppers, as it allows payments to be made with your hands full; and for sports and fitness fans, allowing them to leave their cards and cash at home and still make payments when out and about.
Both the wallet and device are managed through the bPay mobile app, or via the online web portal, and users can set their account to top-up automatically from their chosen payment card when their balance falls below a pre-set level.
All payments come with the same fraud protection that is applied to contactless cards. If lost or stolen, users can remotely shut down their device via the app, online, or by contacting the bPay team.
bPay was first trialled in 2012, before being made widely available in June 2015 when three devices – a wristband, fob and sticker – went on sale. Since then, over 100,000 bPay products have been sold and used to make a million transactions totalling just over £5m.
Tami Hargreaves, commercial director, digital consumer payments at Barclaycard, said: “bPay is the UK’s leading range of wearable payment products and was designed to meet customer demand for a new way of paying. Following the success of the initial range, and in response to consumer demand, Loop has been designed to allow payments functionality to be added to items that people already wear on their wrist.
“Thanks to the huge growth we are seeing in contactless payments, we are increasingly becoming accustomed to being able to make low-value payments throughout the day, in a quick, easy, convenient way. Loop makes that easier than ever.”
bPay has partnered with Mondaine, the Swiss watch manufacturer known globally for its iconic Swiss railway clock watch face, and Garmin, which has developed a range of wearable fitness technology, to offer Loop to those purchasing selected items from both brands from July.
Loop has been designed to fit wristbands with an opening buckle and measuring 22 mm wide and under. It costs £19.99 and goes on sale online on the bPay e-store from today [7 July]. Both the wallet and devices are free to use, with no transaction, usage or top-up fees for consumers, including when used abroad.
This comes after the launch last month of the second collection for Topshop X bPay, a range of Topshop-designed accessories that incorporate the bPay contactless payment technology. The collection comprises; bracelets and key chains in a luxe metal and snake effect design, all created to discreetly hold the small bPay by Barclaycard contactless chip. The range is available in selected Topshop stores and online at bpay.