Barclaycard storms wearables market with contactless payment gloves

Barclaycard is trialling contactless payment gloves during the Christmas shopping period

Barclaycard is trialling new contactless payment gloves during the Christmas shopping period.

The wearables will allow customers to pay for goods by touching their gloves to contactless card readers. The technology behind the gloves is the same used in Barclaycard’s contactless payment bands.

The payments firm developed the gloves after a consumer survey revealed paying for goods was more difficult throughout the Christmas period due to the number of bags shoppers have to carry.

The survey also showed gloves to be the top-voted wearable payment system wanted by consumers, with rings second and payments bands in third.

The gloves, which are also usable with touchscreens, will be trialled by customers over the Christmas period when shops are busiest.

The Barclaycard bPay contactless chip, which is linked to a debit or credit card account, will be embedded in the gloves and can be used to pay for goods up to the value of £20.

Barclaycard digital consumer payments managing director Mike Saunders said the gloves are designed to enable shoppers to "tap, pay and go" even when their hands are full with shopping.

"If the prototype is popular, these handy winter-warmers could be bringing some festive cheer to bag-laden shoppers by Christmas 2015,” he said.

According to Barclaycard, there are now 45 million contactless cards in the UK, and a quarter of new cards are now contactless-enabled. It is predicted £2bn of contactless payments have been made in 2014.

Contactless payment bands

Barclaycard launched a scheme testing testing the data collection capabilities of its contactless payment band bPay in August 2014, using the bands not only for payments, but also for customer relationship management.

The firm them partnered with Transport for London (TfL) to allow consumers to use its bPay contactless payment band on the tube to avoid card clash after the London underground began accepting contactless payments.

The proliferation of contactless payments has steadily increased since the introduction of the payment method, and earlier in 2014 Visa Europe revealed contactless transactions had increased by 189% since May 2013.

MasterCard has given European retailers a deadline of 2020 to ensure all point-of-sale (POS) systems are enabled for contactless payments.

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