Barclays to launch contactless debit cardBank group to roll-out swipe card debit payments

07 January 2009

Barclays today announced plans to be the first UK bank to issue contactless payment debit cards to its customers.

The group said from March most Barclays debit cards that are issued or reissued will include technology enabling people to pay for items costing £10 or less simply by holding their card up to a terminal without even taking it out of their wallet.

The money from the transaction is then debited from their account just as it would be for a standard debit card purchase.

Swipe and go

The cards will still have chip and PIN functions, enabling them to be used for transactions of more than £10 or to withdraw money from cash machines.

More than 8,000 retailers already accept contactless payments, including Pret A Manger, Coffee Republic, and EAT, as well as many independent retailers such as news agents and dry cleaners.

The Barclays group was the first to introduce contactless payment technology on credit cards in September 2007 the Barclaycard OnePulse combined an Oyster card for use on London transport, a credit card and a contactless payment card.

Secure technology

Mark Parsons, managing director of current accounts at Barclays, said: 'This gives people a new way to pay for things that is quick, secure and convenient and we are confident that it is going to be really popular with customers.'

However as with all cards, to ensure security it is important for users to report missing cards to issuers.

In September Barclaycard announced that it is investing a seven-figure sum in contactless payment technology in a move which could eventually consign plastic cards to history.

The group said it was looking at enabling consumers to use the things they carried around with them, such as their mobile phones, key fobs and even their eyes or finger prints, to make payments, rather than relying on cards.