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Barclay’s own-brand Android Pay competitor goes live in the UK

Barclays CPAfter declaring its lack of interest in joining Google‘s new Android Pay system for contactless, phone-based payments, UK bank Barclays announced that it would make up for this by creating a similar service of its own, building on the NFC support for its own Barclaycards already started earlier this year.

And in fact, as of today, the service has quietly gone live

Mobile payment is finally taking off. Over the past couple of years, particularly since the arrival of Apple Pay, mobile-based transactions have started to become more and more commonplace, particularly in the UK, where the underlying contactless infrastructure is more solid than, say, the US.

As per Barclays itself, in fact, over 400,000 locations across the country support mobile payments. With today’s app update bringing what the bank calls its ‘Contactless Mobile’ feature, users will be able to take advantage of said NFC-enabled terminals, much like Android Pay users.

And, actually, there’s even a plus side; while regular contactless payments are capped at £30, Barclays’ Contactless Mobile will allow its users to make transactions worth up to £100. It’s a bit clunky, but it’s better than being cut out entirely; users will have to tap their phone to the NFC terminal, then insert a PIN (and it’s yet unclear whether fingerprints can be used here as well) and then tap with the device again to complete the payment.

There’s only one additional — and frankly quite annoying — caveat, however; once Contactless Mobile is enabled as the go-to Tap-and-Pay option, a permanent notification will be displayed both in the notification panel and the lock screen. As per Barclays, this serves as a “reminder” that the feature is indeed up and running, but we would’ve liked to at least have an option to turn it off.

Smartphones supported are all Android devices running 4.4.2 KitKat and beyond, with both VISA Barclaycards and regular Barclays debit cards supported.

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Avatar for Edoardo Maggio Edoardo Maggio

Italian. Tech geek, video games, photography and music lover, comics-based movies enthusiast, and a sucker for good design. Amateur photographer (VSCO, 500px), writer and reporter for 9to5Google.

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