Barclays swerves Android Pay with smartphone NFC payments launch

Banking giant Barclays has announced the launch of its own mobile contactless on Android, and confirmed to it will not be joining Android Pay.

The bank has been one of the UK’s more innovative financial institutions harnessing mobile payments, and specifically the integration of payment technology into wearable or alternative devices. Barclays has already launched NFC-based payment solutions in the form of bPay, which includes the bPay wristband, fob and even contactless-enabled stickers. Today’s announcement means Barclays and Barclaycard customers are able to make payments on their NFC-enabled Android smartphones using the Barclays Mobile Banking app.

Barclays says payments can be conducted automatically without needing to enter the app or provide authentication – as one would with a regular contactless debit or credit card.

“Giving customers the choice about how to make everyday payments while making it really easy for people to use our services is why we’ve designed this new contactless payment functionality which will sit at the heart of our already popular mobile banking app,” said Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays UK. “It’s all there, in one place, ready to go with no need to enter card details, delivering a brilliant experience in an instant.”

The integration of NFC payments into the Barclays app on Android means the bank will not be participating with Android Pay in the UK, the bank confirmed to  A spokesperson said: “At this stage Barclays and Barclaycard are not planning on participating in Android Pay in the UK. We have our own functionality which was launched to Barclaycard customers in January of this year and will be rolled out to all Barclays customers next month. Our contactless mobile functionality for Android phones will be integrated into our mobile banking app which is a familiar place for customers and means that they can track contactless mobile transactions alongside their other transactions in one place.”

Barclays is involved with Apple Pay, however, and understands the locked-down nature of the iOS platform makes Apple Pay the only opportunity for Barclays customers to get mobile payments on iPhone.

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