Barclays Bank Expands Contactless Card User Portfolio
Barclays Bank has decided to increase its user base of contactless debit cards and credit card holders by focusing mainly on the small and medium business segment.
As a pilot program, this technology was introduced to a small segment of individual account holders in 2007. The customers carrying a contactless-enabled debit or credit card will be able to make purchases without using the traditional chip and pin technology. In chip and pin technology the cardholder has to handover the debit card to seller when they buy something from him. The card is the swiped, and a pin is to be provided for authentication.
In contactless transactions there is no need to hand over the card to the seller. The consumer or buyer of any commodity just has to pull the card from his or her pocket and bring it near the transaction machine. The machine instantly recognizes the card as it is brought near to the machine (card reader) and transmits a signal of approved transaction taken place. The transaction will immediately reflect in their bank statement.
The card works on RFID technology by which the card reader uses a radio signal to scan the RFID chip embedded in the card. For extra security, from time to time reader may ask for customer’s PIN for authentication purposes. The new cards can still be used at shops or retail stores where they are using the old chip and pin machine instead of the new contactless reader.
The current card user base is already six million, but will continue to increase as the traditional cards get replaced with the new contactless cards. For the time being Barclays, Bank in association with Visa, has limited each transaction upto GBP 15 only. The purpose is to help their customers to make small payments easily without bothering of carrying or searching for small change in their pocket. The card can be used at most of the retail stores, parking lots, shops etc.