Barclaycard contactless app

Barclaycard claims it will become a first mover in the financial services sector by upgrading its phone app to make contactless payments with near-field communication (NFC)-enabled Android phones from November.

The facility is expected to be popular with convenience store and supermarket customers, who will be to make contactless payments of up to £30 without a PIN and from £31 to £100 when entering their PIN, without even opening the app.

Those with lost or stolen cards will be able to inform the call centre via the app and a virtual replacement will instantly download for immediate use - an industry first, according to Barclaycard. 

Barclaycard claims the facility is just as secure as using any plastic credit and debit card and users will be required to log in to the app periodically to confirm their identity. An option to turn on PIN protection for even the lowest-value transactions will be provided.

The development comes as Barclaycard reports that the amount UK consumers are spending using contactless has climbed 150% in the past 12 months and the number of transactions is up 134%. 

Mike Saunders, managing director of digital consumer payments at Barclaycard, said the updated app was the latest in its range of Pay-your-Way options that allowed customers to make payments quickly, easily and conveniently.

Barclays is the only major bank not to partner with Apple Pay for iOS phones, which launched in the UK on 14 July, though it plans to do so. 

A spokeswoman said it was too early to say whether Barclaycard would also partner Android Pay, which has not yet been launched in the UK but has begun to roll out in the US.

The UK Cards Association data shows consumers spent more than £2.5bn on contactless cards in the first half of the year.