Barclays is a well known bank for all the wrong reasons lately – but a few months back they announced the launch of a sticker for your phone, wallet or just about anywhere. This sticker combines NFC (near field communications) technology with a business model that revolutionised mobile payments.
2 Models for NFC Mobile Payment
A sticker that has effectively changed the world of Mobile Payments. Until PayTag was announced, there were only 2 models of Mobile Payments (and they were pretty monogamous).
1. work with Handset Manufacturers who integrated an NFC payment module in the device (think Android & Google Wallet);
2. work with the Mobile Network operators who proposed their own SIM card based solution which would work with a few partner banks.
If you were a bank or a customer you pretty you had no choice … In the UK, Orange was running a trial with 1 device with Barclays … I was on another mobile network so this would never work.
OTT – Over the top or Disintermediation
OTT is an acronym used in the mobile technology world for ‘going direct’ or going ‘over the top’. It used to be called disintermediation, as in avoid dealing with the middle men.
Barclaycard’s PayTag sticker is definitely OTT – you don’t need any particular phone, you can be on any network. I don’t think anyone had realised that mobile payments and NFC could work without either a handset or a mobile operator.
Ubiquitous & ever present leads to mass market adoption
The only way NFC mobile payments will be a success is if it is ubiquitous and ever present. This means for consumers that
1. you don’t need to buy a new phone or
2. change networks
3. you can use this in a lot of place
One factor in favour of Barclaycard PayTag is ease of use – it’s a Visa credit card which allows purchases up to £20. if Barclaycard can rollout new card payment terminals to all their Visa card merchants, then you’d have mass adoption.