Barclaycard PayTag for offline payments

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PayPal have eschewed NFC pooh poohing the technology as too expensive for retailers to install. They’ve been experimenting with offline payments via a mobile app, but the technology still relies on retailers having barcode scanners and software to support the payments.

Now Barclaycard have stolen a march on PayPal by rolling out NFC stickers designed to go on the back of your mobile phone. This allows you to pay with NFC simply by waving your mobile over NFC terminals at outlets such as Subway, McDonalds, M&S and the Co-Op.

PayPal are lagging in the UK, mobile payments are going to be big and although Barclaycard’s solution isn’t strictly a mobile solution, every Barclaycard customer that becomes accustomed to paying with their mobile phone is one more customer less likely to want to pay offline with PayPal.

PayPal already support NFC through their PayPal Access card which was launched in April 2011, but is currently unavailable except to a relatively small number of invited customers. The card enables you to spend available funds from your PayPal account anywhere that Mastercard is accepted. As far as we’re aware there have been no new users invited to apply for the PayPal access cards in the last year.

You’ve probably seen the Barclaycard “A new way to pay” adverts on TV. They’re giving away the NFC PayTag stickers for free, and although not many retailers currently have NFC enabled terminals the number is likely to grow rapidly. Any business that replaces their point of sale equipment will likely install NFC enabled terminals in the future.

PayPal need to start moving fast. They have the solutions and it wouldn’t take much to send out NFC stickers to their customers in the same way that Barclaycard are. The solution would be even better as you could pay with the NFC sticker on the back of your mobile phone and the receipt would instantly be emailed to you. If you’ve got a smart phone you’d probably receive the receipt email before you’d even left the store.

PayPal have millions of customers all with money sitting in their PayPal balance who would love to spend it on the high street. Imagine in the run up to Christmas a consumer out shopping who gets an email that they’ve just been paid for an eBay sale. Currently they’ll probably wait until they get home to withdraw the money to their bank account, but if they could instantly spend that money with their PayPal offline payment solution there’s a good chance that they would.

This isn’t about how quickly you can access your PayPal balance, it’s about getting PayPal users accustomed to using PayPal anywhere and everywhere, but currently it’s Barclaycard entrenching themselves even further in their traditional territory – the High Street.

Without an available PayPal offline payment solution, here’s a video celebrating the very first payment made with the Barclaycard NFC phone sticker. If you have a Barclaycard and would like to apply for an NFC Barclaycard PayTag sticker they’re free from the Barclaycard website.


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