Barclays Unveils Paytag: NFC Payments from any mobile!

Barclays Unveils Paytag: NFC Payments from any mobile!In the US there is Google Wallet but here in the UK, NFC and contactless payment has been very slow to take off.

Issues around trust and security have led to a sceptical public which in turn has led to retailers unwilling to commit and the banks treading very carefully.


However, as predicted here by our very own Alan Mersom, NFC could be about to take off in the UK as Barclaycard announce PayTag, a contactless payment system for any mobile phone.

Taking the form of a sticker that can be attached to anything (Barclaycard are obviously recommending your phone), you merely hold your sticker and whatever it is attached to near the contactless payment point and any transaction under £15 (rising to £20 in June) will automatically be processed.

There are currently over 100,000 contactless readers in the UK and this amount is due to expand rapidly with retailers such as Waitrose, Tesco and Boots all signing up.

There are of course some obvious flaws to this plan.  Most people tend to upgrade their phone at least once every two years and as the sticker is attached with a strong adhesive it cannot easily be removed and cannot be reattached.  Barclaycard advise that in this case a new sticker will have to be ordered and your old one is to be cut up.

What if you lose your phone or it is stolen? Well, Barclaycard reckons a quick phone call to them and all will be sorted however how you would do this when you don’t have your phone is anyones guess!

Barclaycard have however said that PayTag comes with the same 100% fraud protection as its other cards, and has promised to refund anyone who loses their card which is then used fraudulently.

Available to Barclaycard holders, you can register your interest here.

Is this the first step in the NFC revolution or will you be waiting for some form of “proper” payment system to become available on your mobile? As ever, your comments are welcomed below.

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  • Anonymous

    Yuck… I didn’t go with a device that had no carrier idenification logos on it just to slap on a big ‘ol Visa Card sticker.

  • Anonymous

    The interesting thing is that if you have a barclaycard then the odds are that you already have the capability i.e. that you have the appropriate chip in your card – so is the argument that your phone is more accessible to be waved at thereader than a card from your wallet? (Probably!)

  • Scott

    I wonder if its slim enough and has a string enough signal to stash under the battery cover of a phone without making the cover bulge out (ie Galaxy S2) would be of no use to Iphone user inless yo have a case you could stash it ubder) 

    • I’m not sure that would work, Scott, because of the rubber and the battery. Also though — I learned yesterday that if you happen to be carrying an NFC card as well as an NFC device, you may find your payments rejected because the NFC terminal will detect two NFC devices, and won’t accept payment from either. This was my understanding, that is. Apparently it’s intended to be a security feature to fox thieves. But will probably anoy consumers, Oh, and take a look at this infograohic http://blogs.orange-business.com/enterprising-business/2012/02/infographic-how-nfc-can-change-our-world.html

  • Anonymous

    Lol. How about letting those of us who actually have NFC phones take advantage of their native capabilities! (GNex ftw!!!)

  • PayTag falls short of what a mobile payments service should deliver in 2012, for two reasons. Firstly, it is merely an incomplete copy of just one of its user’s bank cards and secondly, it places a very low limit on the transaction amount, which requires that consumers have a back-up payment plan. In other words, PayTag users would still have to carry their physical wallets around. So what’s the point?