If you thought the Samsung vs Apple smartphone war was something, allow me to quote the Bachman-Turner Overdrive and say: You ain’t seen nothing yet.
The contactless payment is the next big battlefield, and once you take a moment to step back and just look at who’s getting involved, it’s easy to see why I’m quoting the 1974 song.
Apple with Apple Pay, Samsung with Samsung Pay, Google with Android Pay, Jawbone and American Express, FitBit, those are just some of the names sharpening their blades.
And now, there’s a new player in town – the £24.99 (US$40) bPay wristband from British company Barclaycard.
PC World explains just how big the battlefield is this time around: “In the U.K. payments made this way using mainly credit and debit cards rose 331 per cent year-on-year last year with 319 million transactions, and the launch of Apple Pay has shown there is an appetite for contactless payments in the U.S.”
Both Apple and Barclaycard are pitching their products as a convenient way to make payments, and it is true – there’s no need to swipe a credit card or pull out your smartphone. All you need to do at the counter is slightly lean over to make a payment.
Barclaycard also announced a keyfob and a sticker for making contactless payments. All three will go on sale on July 1. The bPay sticker costs £14.99 and the bPay keyfob is priced at £19.99.
The company hopes the low price will make up for the fact that the device has only one use.