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Barclaycard has introduced PayTag, a small contactless payment card that can be stuck to a phone or any other object and then used to carry out small transactions.
The PayTag, launched on Thursday, is designed as an alternative to using smartphones with built-in near-field communication (NFC) technology for mobile payments. About one-third of the size of a
normal credit card, it uses NFC technology in conjunction with point-of-sale readers for contactless payments.
The card has adhesive on the back, meaning it can be stuck to any convenient object. Barclaycard expects customers will put the
PayTag on their mobile phone, as it is something many people never
leave the house without.
"PayTag is a product that makes it possible for millions of our customers to immediately choose to pay with their mobile without needing to change their handset," David Chan, chief executive of Barclaycard Consumer Europe, said at a PayTag launch event on Wednesday. "It turns any phone into a contactless way to pay."
The system links the PayTag to a Barclaycard credit card account, at no additional cost to the customer, according to the company. It lets holders carry out transactions worth up to £15 right now, although this will be extended to £20 in June. Barclaycard could not say whether the scheme will be extended to current accounts, saying it depends in part on the success of the PayTag rollout.
While mobile payments are unlikely to spell the end of cash transactions, they look set to become as much a part of daily life as online payments, Chan told ZDNet UK.
"I used to use my watch to tell the time, but now I just use my mobile," he said. "I expect the same thing to happen to my wallet."
Image credit: Ben Woods/ZDNet UK