Barclays signs seven wearable payments deals

Written by Chris Lemmon

Barclays has signed partnerships with seven watch brands, including Guess, Mondaine, Timex and Kronaby, to embed contactless bPay technology into traditional watches and fitness trackers.

Building on the Timex Fairfield Contactless watch last year, bPay and Timex will launch an expanded range of contactless-enabled watches in May. Guess Watches will also work with bPay to launch a range of six contactless watches.

A partnership with watch strap supplier LBS will also see the launch ‘TapStrap’ – a replacement strap that can be fitted to any watch with an 18mm, 20mm or 22mm strap, while a deal with Finnish sports equipment firm Sunnto will see the release of a new fitness tracker. A range of payment-enabled watches will also be developed following partnerships with Mondaine and Kronaby.

The agreements come as Barclays claims that wearable payments are surging in popularity, with spending via bPay jumping 129 per cent year-on-year in 2017.

Commenting on the new partnerships, Adam Herson, business development director of Barclays Mobile Payments, said: “Consumer appetite for wearable payments is reaching critical mass, and we’re proud to be meeting this growing demand with the help of our industry-leading partners. Thanks to the range of products these agreements will bring to market, customers will be able to buy a watch or fitness tracker that not only suits their taste, but also unlocks benefits of speed and ease in everyday purchases.

“Our game-changing, flexible bPay chip means we can transform any traditional timepiece into a smart device – without sacrificing style.”