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Barclaycard mini, stick-on credit card, to promote NFC payments

by Alistair Lowe on 19 April 2012, 10:21

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With rumours that the London 2012 Olympics may be the UK's first serious attempt at promoting NFC payments, with suggestions, even, that Samsung's upcoming GALAXY S III smartphone may be the official phone of the Olympics with NFC support, it feels as though contactless payment is at last heading to the UK.

Perhaps picking up on this vibe, Barclaycard has announced the launch of a new, mini, stick-on credit card, for users to attach to the backs of their phones (or technically anything with a flat surface), which will begin immediate roll-out and should be in the hands of millions of customers before the end of the year.

Barclaycard PayTag

The 'PayTag' card integrates an NFC chip, allowing for the close-range exchange of payment details for contactless payment at certain stores equipped with compatible devices. The card allows consumers to make transactions of up to £15 without the need for pin entry, though use in rapid succession or at unexpected locations could prompt a pin entry for security reasons.

There are concerns that with a credit card stuck to the back of a person's phone, it could become a likely target for theft, which, let's be honest, may be true, however it's clear that Barclaycard is pushing this concept to promote the inclusion of NFC on more mobile devices, rally support for the new standard and to familiarise customers with the new concept.

Once NFC does hit phones in general, everyone will end up in the same boat, though with increased security options. As an added advantage, new phone owners will be able to take advantage of other current and upcoming NFC features, such as secure device-to-device communication, quick information exchange and tethering of devices.

HEXUS Forums :: 7 Comments

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so when yer mobile gets nicked you lose the CC as well ?
so when yer mobile gets nicked you lose the CC as well ?
In that case I'd be more worried about the phone than the CC - and AIUI it will only allow £15 or less, not larger purchases.

Whats the position on unauthorised transactions with NFC/contactless ?

ISTR officially CCs only cover transactions over £100…
I can see a lot of these “cards” getting lost as they weren't stuck on properly
I can't see many people going for this. Firstly who would want to stick something like that on their shiny new Smartphone. Secondly I'd be paranoid that it would come off. Looks a bit gimmicky to me.
Personally, I don't see any circumstances under which I'll be willing to use this.

First, I'm not willing to sign up to a PIN-less NFC technology. I don't care how 100% “guaranteed” the process is, because I'm not prepared to risk submitting myself to the hassle of arguments with a card company over small value payments, and even that assumes that I even notice a small value payment and realise it wasn't a genuine one.

Suppose a £10 charge occurs in a store I use, in my local area, and I know nothing about it until a statement arrives weeks later, or I go online to check (also, perhaps, weeks later). If that transaction occurs in an area I know I haven't been to, or is a big amount I know I didn't spend, then it stands out. But if you use NFC regularly, the only way I'm likely to spot such a transaction is if I carefully and religiously note every small, NFC transaction I make, and that rather defeats the “use of use” agenda for using it in the first place.

It's not just about whether I get the money back, even assuming I notice a few dodgy transactions which i might well not do, it's about the hassle of having to track everything, and then potentially dispute some transactions.

Also, and this is a priority for me, though I suspect I'm the exception, I'm simply not prepared to give any credit card company that level of micro-detail on my transaction history, because I value my privacy higher than that. And letting their computers analyse where I am, and what I spend on that level of detail is not going to happen.

I don't even use credit cards for supermarket or petrol purposes now, for (in large part) that reason, so I'm sure not using NFC for tiny transactions. There is already, as far as I'm concerned, is a perfect technology for small payments. It's called “cash”. It's widely available, accepted pretty much everywhere, and makes it bleeping near impossible for companies to data mine what I choose to spend money on.

So, I use credit cards sparingly enough at the moment, in these pre-NFC days. I use them for items where consumer protection (s.75, CCA, etc) is important, or for things like hotel bookings and car hire, and for the occasional item where I might get caught short of cash (which, frankly, doesn't happen that often, and so far, not at all this year).

NFC technology? As far as I'm concerned, it's …. well, a different sort of NFC …. No Flipping Chance. ;)