'bPay' contactless devices on sale
A new range of payment devices that people can wear has been unveiled by Barclaycard as people's use of "tap and pay" technology continues to grow.
The new "bPay" wristbands, fobs and stickers will go on sale online from Wednesday and are being made available to people aged 12 and above.
They work in a similar way to contactless cards and can be used at any of the 300,000-plus locations in the UK that accept contactless payments.
The wristband is priced at £24.99, the fob, which can be attached to a key ring or bag, is priced at £19.99 and the sticker, which can be attached to items to transform them into a contactless way to pay, will cost £14.99.
The wristband and the fob will also go on sale on the high street from August, including at some CycleSurgery and Runners Need outlets, which are part of the Snow and Rock Group, Barclaycard said.
The devices will be available to anyone with a UK-registered Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card, not just Barclaycard and Barclays customers.
People using the devices will be able to set them up by going to a website or using an app. They can choose to top the devices up with set amounts of cash if they want to.
Apart from the up-front cost of buying the devices, there are no transaction, usage or top-up fees for consumers, Barclaycard said.
As with contactless cards, a £20 transaction limit will apply to the devices. The contactless transaction limit is increasing generally to £30 from September.
Payments made using the wearable devices will also have the same fraud protections as contactless cards, Barclaycard said.
If the devices are lost or stolen they can be remotely shut down via the bPay mobile app or the bPay website.
Asked how children aged 12 might use the devices, a spokeswoman for Barclaycard said that parents could have their children's devices linked to their account.
As the parent can set the amount of cash that the device is topped up with, they can control how much their child spends.
A bPay wristband was launched in June last year and registrations for it spiked after Transport for London went contactless in September, Barclaycard said.
The new wristband has been developed following feedback on the one launched previously.
Barclaycard has also recently trialled pairs of contactless payment gloves which could be used by people touching the back of their hand on the reader at the till.
In March, Halifax confirmed it was exploring the possibility of customers being able to wear wristbands containing sensors which would be able to pick up their heartbeat and use this as a way of logging in to their mobile phone banking rather than having to enter a password.
People's use of contactless payments has surged over the last year.
According to a recent report from the UK Cards Association, 2014 saw a ''rapid growth'' in contactless card use , with £2.32 billion of spending. More contactless transactions took place during the first nine months of the year than the previous six years combined.
The British Bankers' Association recently said that consumers using contactless cards have collectively saved more than 93 years at the check-out since they were introduced.
On average, it takes half a second to tap and go with a contactless card while it takes seven seconds to pay by chip and Pin, it said.
Mike Saunders, managing director, digital consumer payments at Barclaycard, said: "We're in the midst of a sweeping change in the way we pay, with cash-dominated transactions being replaced by 'touch and go' contactless technology that has made it easier, safer and faster to make low-value payments.
"The launch of our bPay band last year was an evolutionary step for the business."