After introducing Oyster card-style contactless payments functionality into its plastic, Barclays has been working on a contactless system for taxis.
Barclays and Computer Cab have teamed up to develop a near field communication (NFC) payments system for taxis, where passengers can pay for a fare by pressing their NFC-equipped credit or debit card against a reader, in the same way many Londoners pay for fares with an Oyster card.
The pair has developed a showcase cab as part of Barclays' ongoing trial to add Visa 'wave and pay' and Oyster capability onto credit cards and debit cards. Barclays hopes to introduce NFC cards later this year.
NFC technology is already in use in mobile phones and cards in Japan and the US but has been slow in coming to Europe. However, mobile companies are still trying to drum up momentum for NFC payments on mobile phones.
A number of operators including O2, Orange and Vodafone this week signed up to support trade body the GSMA's Buy Pay initiative, which aims to encourage the deployment of NFC payments via mobile phones at retail outlets.
A recent report from market watchers ABI Research predicts NFC-enabled mobiles will reach 450 million units in 2011 — nearly 30 percent of handsets sold that year.