Barclaycard sets out plans for NFC

The Quick Tap mobile payments service launched by Barclaycard and Orange last month is just the start of the partners’ NFC plans, says the card issuer’s head of digital payments. “We have a long and deep roadmap of people we want to work with.”

BARCLAYCARD: Will be working with additional mobile network operators

The commercial NFC payments service launched under the Quick Tap brand in the UK by Barclaycard and Orange last month is just the start of the partners’ plans for NFC, Tom Gregory, Barclaycard’s head of digital payments has told delegates attending the NFC Payments Europe conference in London.

Participation in Quick Tap is currently limited to consumers who have an account with both Orange and Barclaycard and who purchase a Samsung Tocco Quick Tap phone. But both partners see the current Quick Tap service as just the beginning of their long term plans for near field communication, Gregory explained.

Now that the service is commercially launched, the two companies have their sights set on expanding their NFC proposition to further parties — Barclaycard will be working with additional mobile network operators, for instance, and Orange will be working with additional card issuers.

Quick Tap is the result of a strategic partnership signed by Barclaycard and Orange in March 2009. “You have to start somewhere… There’ll be more to come in the not-too-distant future,” Gregory told delegates. “We have a long and deep roadmap of people we want to work with… We will expand out.”

“There’s a latent consumer demand” for NFC, Gregory added, but “payments alone is not enough to really drive this market.” Offers, for instance, are “vital to stimulate demand.”

Gregory also shared five key lessons Barclaycard has learned from the commercial launch of Quick Tap and field trials conducted in the run-up to it:

  • Customer experience “is absolutely critical to bring this to market successfully.”
  • Security is vital and it will take time for consumers to feel comfortable that NFC is secure. Ten to fifteen years ago, Gregory explained, people were concerned about the security of buying things online. Now hardly anyone is.
  • It is absolutely critical that there are enough merchants equipped to accept contactless payments to bring NFC to market. “2011 is a turning point” for this in the UK.
  • Test and learn. NFC propositions need to be tested out with focus groups and internal groups, and in as many ways as possible. Even so, “we’ve accepted the fact that we will fail in some of our testings”.
  • “Choose your partners well and make sure you have a common vision for where you want to go.” In 2009, Orange and Barclaycard began with the shared vision that “we want to bring this to market… This is the future for our customers. This is what they want.”

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