Barclay's new PayTag sticker turns any phone into an NFC credit card

Barclay's new PayTag sticker turns any phone into an NFC credit card

Summary: Barclay's latest NFC effort aims to make it easier for those without near-field communications technology in their phones to make contactless payments.


With near-field communications payment systems still in their tentative infancy, credit card companies are trying whatever they can to increase consumer interest in the technology.

The latest effort is from the U.K.-based Barclays, which is introducing PayTag, a NFC sticker that can make any device NFC-ready.

PayTag, which acts an extension of the regular Barclaycard, simply affixes to the back of a phone and it's ready for use. That should probably make it clear that a phone isn't even a required part of the set up at all. Theoretically, the sticker could turn your toaster or even your own body into an NFC-ready payment device. (Hell, you could even have a recursive payment system wherein you turn your credit card into an NFC-enabled credit card and make payments while you make payments.)

Not to be a downer about it, of course. Any attempts at getting NFC on the minds (and smartphones) of consumers will only serve to accelerate the process of making the whole venture that much more commonplace.

PayTag will be offered in the U.K over the next few months and will eventually support payments for up to £20.

Topics: Banking, Enterprise Software, Mobility, Telcos

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  • Not New

    I lived in Tokyo, Japan until 2007, and returned to the US. While in Japan, I had, in my mobile phone, the Edy and Suica technology built in. Edy is a prepaid system, and Suica is a credit card based system. Edy was accepted at McDonalds and most of the convenience stores as well as vending machines. During the Nagano Expo of 2006, Nintendo was operating a PokePark. Every purchase at the PokePark was done via Edy. So you put money in the machine and bring your Edy card or in my case my phone up to the terminal and added money into Edy. At the launch of Edy, I was sent a USB reader/writer that I could use at home to load up by using a charge card. Suica requires a charge card, from many of the major credit cards companies. This system required an authorization but lets you pay and it is taken from your charge card. Suica was initially launched by JR (Japan Railways) and you could ride the trains with a Suica. In wickets that did not take Suica, you could still buy your tickets from the ticket dispensers using Suica.

    The Edy technology was also used in our building, so entry was via an Edy card and a few of us got the technology to enter via our phones. Some of us were lucky to be on the pilot program. So, with my phone, I was able to enter our building and where ever I was given access to, I could do so with my phone, in 2006.

    All of this was done 6 to 7 years ago. I can't understand why the technology is taking so long to arrive in the US. The Edy system had a cap of 20,000 yen (about $200 at the time), the Suica required a confirmation before a charge was done. The Edy could not be read nor have money taken out from a reader passing by (if anyone had that technology, then they could just credit themselves up to 20,000 yen without stealing from anyone). In the Suica, the reader would only activate the Suica system, but you needed enter in your PIN. So, if anyone tried to read your card, you would have to enter your PIN before anything was transmitted. So, the security was already built in. Of course if you only had the Suica card and not built into your phone, someone could read the card since it has no keypad to enter your PIN.
  • Great!

    This sounds great but to be honest I am still having second thoughts about using PayTag nor any NFC technology for that matter unless for small purchases. Anyway, with my own business I'm keeping eye on updates on the launch of mPowa ( in the UK. I think a mobile POS system will help my business tremendously.