Orange and Barclays have teamed up to produce the first mobile phone you can ‘tap and pay’ with on payments under £15. Convenient, yes. But will it be safe – and more importantly, will it take off?
Barclays has launched a mobile payment service that could spell the end of cash, or at least that’s the plan.
I hate small change. I seem to go through trousers and jeans at an appalling rate as insignificant coins saw through my pockets.
And on quiet nights walking around a dodgy area of town, rattling away like Marley’s ghost doesn’t fill me with confidence.
So I quite like the idea of a mobile phone that I can make payments of up to £15 on. And it will save me money, because I invariably wave away small change, which probably adds up to a small fortune over the course of a year.
Convenience vs security
The new phone, Samsung Tocco Quick Tap, can be used in a variety of outlets, including Pret A Manger, EAT and Subway, making it a convenient way to pay for lunch. But convenience is only one factor here, security is another.
When Nick Cheek started a Conversation ‘Is paying with your mobile a step too far?’, security was one issue that cropped up. ‘Personally, I would think there would be security issues using a mobile phone for banking? I wouldn’t even use my mobile to log on to check account balances,’ said Danny.
Some people will probably conclude that it’s far from ideal – if your phone gets stolen or lost someone could raid your local sandwich shop for all it’s worth (well, up to £15 a go).
This would be terrible, but as with any electronic payment, your provider will be on the lookout for any suspect patterns of use. So if your phone is used to buy £10 worth of lunch at every retailer along the high street within a short time frame, it will block your account.
Will people want to tap and pay?
But in my mind, security is not the real problem here; I suspect that the big issue will be whether enough people buy into the concept of mobile payments.
People are creatures of habit, and the fact that this technology is only available at a handful of retailers may stop it becoming second nature. After all, most Barclays debit or credit card already have contactless technology built into them, but how many card holders remember to use them when they are at Pret?
Until this technology is available everywhere, take up is likely to be stunted. If Barclays and Orange can’t crack this nut, and make it as widespread as the Oyster card system, it’s likely to be overlooked by all bar a small army of technophiles. And that will be bad news for Barclays, Orange and anyone who’s pockets are filled with copper coins.
Would you use your mobile to 'tap and pay'?
No (54%, 232 Votes)
Yes (30%, 130 Votes)
Not sure (16%, 68 Votes)
Total Voters: 430