Although Apple managed to strike a deal with almost with every major bank globally to kick off its payment service Apple Pay, things aren’t that bright and shiny in the U.K. Barclay’s bank, a major financial force, specially in the european region, has always kept itself off the Apple Pay list. And now we know why.
It seems that the bank doesn’t want to join Apple’s club and wants to go solo to promote its own mobile payment service, bPay. bPay is Barclay’s own take on contact-less payment and was launched a while ago.
bPay works like contactless payments on your credit or debit card, but instead of the chip sitting inside a card, you can instead get it in a keyfob, a wristband or even as a sticker.
The benefit to Barclay’s doing it their own way is that it gets to keep all of the transaction fees to itself, a factor every bank is ithy about. Customers from other banks will be able to sign up too, and all users will have a digital wallet where money must be transferred to, before wireless payments will work.
However, the service will always be restricted to low transaction limits because of its low security levels, same as that of existing contactless cards. Also, if you happen to loose your sticker from the back of from your phone, anyone can use it. And if you happen to loose all of your phone, the same will be the scenario.
The basic idea is that the different form factors make it more convenient to make payments, especially when you are in no state to carry your phone everywhere.
But, since the transaction limit is low, we cannot award it with a title of “fully fledged” service. Although, it did make a slight dent on Apple’s payment service, the question is will it be able to survive for very long since not every user will be comfortable enough with such a low amount of transactions.
bPay is priced at £14.99 for the bPay sticker, the bPay fob is priced at £19.99, and the bPay band will come with a £24.99 price tag. The service is initially subjected to the same £20 (soon to be £30) transaction limit as contactless cards.