Barclays contactless wearables

What do we think of Barclays introducing wearables that you can use to pay from your bank? Do you think Monzo should have something like this? Generally I thought it was a cool idea. I can see this being popular in the future.

1 Like

These will - intentionally - lock you into using a single financial provider.
Whereas using your phone (Apple/Google pay) will undoubtedly be the way forward to use the financial provider of your choice when needed at the POS

Some people will use these middle-ware devices. Some people won’t. The scale of people involved is huge and banks are, quite rightly, jostling for position to gain market share using tech. It’s a huge open marketplace - still!


Introducing? I had a bPay band in 2014…

They keep relanching this stuff but it doesn’t seem to catch on. I’m not entirely sure why - from above the cost would be a big thing but the first bpay band was given away for free, so no idea.

All it is is a standard band (the one I had was just rubber) with a mini contactless card stuck in it… maybe 1" square. Monzo could produce them easily enough I bet if the demand was there… but the latter is the big question.


They use a replicable/swappable sim. In theory anyone could implement their own version that can be put in existing bands.

Like a lot of things. I think this like other options to pay are useful and have their use cases. We don’t need a everyone solution because frankly it doesn’t exist. So I think it’s good to have multiple ways to pay like this.

Barclays needs to buy monzo for their marketing team so they can advertise better perhaps :smile:

Pretty sure our marketing team are very happy here tbh :blush:


Completely aware of this, as per the Disney wristbands circa 2012; ‘VIP?’ - In you come. ‘Special access needed?’ - Just to the left. ‘Put that entire family dinner on your room?’ - Done. No cards, no writing, no tips, no nothing. Except you pay without realising at the time, an incredibly well-designed system.

Which will extend to day-to-day life.

Ease of extracting money is the goal.

1 Like

I imagine they might have some use for people who can’t use Apple or Android Pay, but otherwise don’t really see the point during everyday life.

I have thought that the wristbands would be great for music festivals such as Glastonbury, where phone signal can drop to nothing, phone batteries tend to run low and some people are in any case worried about taking their main mobiles.

It is also the rumoured reason Apple Pay was delayed with Barclays when it was introduced.

Festival wristband systems are a thing. The main selling point is that the organiser can audit the takings of third party vendors on site (who are often paying a percentage) and the vendors can go 100% cashless. Cash handling is a huge overhead, and a cashless POS can be operated by staff with very little training and less trust - very casual labour or volunteers who are working for their tickets. You can centralise all the cash handling in the place people load money on the bands.
Then you put access control on the band also. And the system works for people who have no phone, lost their phone (lost bands can be deactivated and replaced cheaply), etc.
Afterwards all the vendor demand data is right there so you can plan better for the next year.
What’s very interesting about that is that a lot of banking type stuff goes on with no actual bank being involved. All these POS units floating about that don’t interact with the traditional financial system in any way!


Thank you for describing the benefits to the festival organisers, @ashby. I hadn’t actually thought of those.

I also see a massive benefit for the punters, many of whom would probably prefer not to be carrying around large amounts of cash - or having that much cash in their tent. A wristband - ideally with an auto top-up feature - would be very helpful in that respect.

Yup although there are snags around getting leftover money off again, particularly for international users and people who want their money back on site. And privacy concerns from people who realise that the festival has all this data on their movements and spending!

I am not a fan of ‘single use’ devices like these, preferring to carry as little as possible in my pockets.

I’ve had a bPay (now Pingit) keyring since 2014 and I love it, it’s so handy, I attach it to everything and anything and take it everywhere. Safe in the knowledge that I can always use it for contactless payments under £30, especially handy if I’ve forgotten my wallet (again!) :joy:

I used to have a ping it thing when they first came out, which I made a smaller keyring for as I didn’t like the main one.

I really liked the concept but it was at a point when Apple Pay wasn’t widely available I think.

The whole top up wallet part just makes it more effort I find, now that Apple Pay is accessible.

If Monzo had one id be inclined to try it, but the extra layer of prepayment the pingit ones cause is just a bit much for me


I’ve had one for a couple of years. I got mine for about £12 but it’s the ‘holder’ that actually costs the money. The SIM sized cards are pennies. I mainly used it because Barclays didn’t support Apple pay and still don’t do android pay (one of the reasons I got monzo) and it was pretty good. I had the one that went on a watch strap. They’ve recently moved over to pingit. This can all be used with any bank account, the service itself happens to be run by Barclays. It’s basically just a top-up account which you can set to happen automatically. Imagine an oyster card that can be used elsewhere.
I now have a smartwatch with Google pay so don’t need it anymore

Feel like SCA renders these utterly useless, as I can’t see they have any verification for the transaction?

I’d be interested to see how Barclays handle this.

I think for now prepaid cards are exempt from SCA?

ABN AMRO has actually already started doing tokenised accounts on payment wearables, meaning it debits straight off your existing bank account, exactly like a bank card. I’m working at a London-based startup named DIGISEQ. We’re getting banks to allow their users to buy a wearable and then put their payment credentials on it. Hopefully Monzo can onboard too because I’m using Monzo myself.

Wearables that would take off… Nicer bracelet than pictured, rings or know what I haven’t seen… Watch straps!!! Everyone has a watch whether it be smart or not… smack this tech in a few nice watch straps and I’d pay £50 for that, that way I wouldn’t need any additional items on my body.

1 Like

I would love a wearable! Why don’t bank’s offer these options? Although they need a redesign for sure. Bracelet is a little ugly