Well then — it’s good news this morning for Orange and Barclaycard. They’ve left other mobile operators waving in the dust with the launch of their all new ‘Quick Tap‘ contactless payments service.
You know the drill, right? We’ve been hearing about this sort of use case for quite a while. If you’d like to buy a diet coke from Pret, you no longer need to fumble about with ‘shrapnel’ (i.e. coins and pieces of paper), you can finally just swipe your phone and have your account debited accordingly.
As of today, you can now make contactless payments in over 50,000 shops across the UK including Pret a Manger, EAT., Little Chef, Wembley Arena, Subway, Wilkinson and McDonalds. I don’t think it will be long before we’ll see more chains offer support.
Here’s how it works.
First, you need to be an Orange customer. Check.
Second, you need a Quick Tap enabled phone. I haven’t got one of those yet. But I will go and get one. Orange has enabled their best selling handset (the Samsung Tocco Lite) with Quick Tap functionality. We’ll shortly see a whole raft of Quick Tap enabled devices from Orange. Indeed I won’t be surprised if we see the majority of their range enabled with Quick Tap in the coming quarters.
Third, you need a Quick Tap NFC-enabled SIM (which you’ll get with the Tocco).
Fourth, you do need to be a Barclaycard/Barclays customer too. Check. That’s how you top up your Quick Tap account.
Once you’ve done so, you can pay for any transaction up to the value of £15 using Quick Tap. More than enough to buy lunch for you and a few folk at Pret. You can transfer up to £100 a time from your Barclays/Barclaycard account — and you can do it all from the pre-installed Quick Tap app on your Tocco.
The app will also let you view electronic statements — plus if you’re a bit security conscious, you can opt to have to confirm every transaction you make with a PIN number.
I will not be doing that.
I can’t wait to get swiping.
What else do you need to know? Well, I admit that, as a geek, it’s a little bit annoying to have to use a Samsung Tocco Lite handset. I can see why Orange selected that one — £59 PAYG — but really? I don’t know if my geek quotient can handle that.
It makes sense, it really does — launching Quick Tap with a Nexus S or a top-of-the-range Samsung would severely restrict the possible audience initially.
I’m going to pop to the Orange store in Richmond later today and see if they have any in stock.
Barclaycard are giving all users a free £10 credit when they activate their Quick Tap account. That’ll get you started. It’ll also buy you lunch. Plus, you’ll get 10% cash-back on all transactions made with Quick Tap for the first three months. Nice!
It’s good news for MasterCard too. They’re managing the transaction infrastructure (“PayPass”). For extra peace of mind, all contactless transactions via Quick Tap are covered by the same 100% fraud guarantee as standard Barclays and Barclaycard transactions. Nice.
And if you’re wondering about that rather nifty new SIM you need, Gemalto are behind that. They’ve provided Barclays with Trusted Service Management (TSM) operated services which enable the secure deployment and management of mobile contactless payment.
Altogether it sounds like very serious people in sharp suits have delivered what appears to be a robust and well considered contactless payments solution.
As a first step I think this is a fantastic achievement. Good work Orange and Barclays!
I’m going to try it out and I’ll try and do a few videos of it working, it the folks in Pret will let me.
Check out the Quick Tap page for more information. And standby for the marketing onslaught!