Contactless Gloves a Handy New Way to Pay for Christmas Shopping

Barclaycard is to trial innovative gloves that allow people to pay contactlessly for their Christmas shopping, following demand for a wearable payment item that makes paying quicker and easier when laden with shopping bags.

In a survey by Barclaycard, which quizzed 2,000 people on their Christmas shopping behaviour, “gloves you could pay with” were voted the most popular wearable item consumers would like to see created, followed by rings in second place and bracelets in third.

To make shoppers’ wishes come true, Barclaycard has developed a small number of ‘pay-glove’ prototypes which are being trialled across some of the UK’s 300,000 contactless locations during the busy Christmas shopping period.

The cosy woollen gloves, which are also touchscreen-enabled so shoppers can use their mobile phones while on the move, act like your credit or debit card and can be used to make quick and easy contactless payments.

They are likely to be popular with the 74 per cent of shoppers who, when asked about their Christmas shopping dislikes, rated queuing as their biggest pet hate. They will also be useful for the one in five shoppers (19 per cent) who said they struggle to pay when their hands are full of bags.

The Christmas shopping survey also found that “overcrowded shops that are difficult to navigate” (41 per cent) and “the battle to find a car parking space” (38 per cent) were a regular annoyance for consumers. “Unfriendly and unhelpful check-out staff” (36 per cent), and “items you want being sold out” (32 per cent) also scored highly.

This fashionable make-over for Barclaycard’s payment devices couldn’t have come at a better time with UK consumers predicted to spend £2 billion through contactless this year as they increasingly choose it over cash.

The Barclaycard gloves are embedded with a bPay contactless chip that can be linked to a credit or debit card and used to pay for transactions of up to £20. In the same way consumers use a contactless card, the gloves work when tapped on a contactless terminal and payment is processed in an instant.

Mike Saunders, Managing Director of Digital Consumer Payments at Barclaycard says:

“At some point most of us have experienced the stress of holding bags full of shopping while trying to find a spare hand to get our card out of our purse or wallet to pay. Some may have even been subjected to frustration from those piling up in the queue behind them! So when people told us that being able to pay with gloves would take some of the stress out of their Christmas shopping, we wanted to respond positively to shoppers’ demand.

“The ‘pay gloves’ we’re trialling are designed to let shoppers ‘tap, pay and go’ even when their hands are full of shopping. If the prototype is popular, these handy winter warmers could be bringing some festive cheer to bag-laden shoppers by Christmas 2015!”

There are now 45 million contactless cards in circulation in the UK and a quarter of all plastic new cards are contactless-enabled – which means that customers can simply touch their cards on contactless-enabled terminals to make faster secure payments.

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