Barclays answer to Contactless Payments for a limited few
I am sure you are all aware of the official launch of Quick Tap last week in the UK. Barclays Bank and mobile network operator Orange joined forces to provide their customers with the ability to make mobile contactless payments.
Apart from coming up with a great product name, Quick Tap only allows Orange customers who have a Samsung Tocco Quick Tap handset, and who have a Barclays bank accounts to use the rather lack-lustre contactless mobile wallet application. To further limit their market, customers can only load up to £100 onto their phone and make payments for purchases up to £15.
Quick Tap is using the MasterCard PayPass terminals, and simply allows those fortunate few to swipe their Samsung Tocco to pay for the peanuts at the pub – after all, if it your turn to buy a round of drinks, are you going to get them for under £15?
But if you bank with HSBC, or you have a Nokia or iPhone, you’re out of luck with Quick Tap. Equally though, for those few who are able to use Quick Tap, their dependence on it as a service will mean they can’t switch banks, cant switch carriers and cant upgrade to say the iPhone 5 when it eventually comes out. Your freedom and flexibility will be a thing of the past.
Now whether this is going to be the solution that makes mobile payments in the UK second nature is yet to be seen – after all, it is Barclays who in the UK have been the most active in rolling out contactless cards and contactless terminals. In any event they are certainly helping the industry by getting infrastructure into the merchants and by educating consumers on NFC payment capabilities. It still seems though that the large players jumping into this space don’t have the ability to offer a complete mobile wallet solution for the user.