Barclays Combining Pingit, BPay To Compete With Apple


Barclays Bank is going to merge its two payment apps into one, in an attempt to be more competitive in the payments field, according to a report by Bloomberg.

One of the apps is a wearable mobile payment product called BPay, which allows users to stack prepaid credit on the device for contactless payments, and the other is a wider-used app called Pingit, which offers support for peer-to-peer transactions and money transfers.

The wearable came out in 2014 before Apple Pay launched in the U.K, and it has users “in the high tens of thousands,” Barclays said. Pingit has 3.6 million.

The company is merging the apps to stay competitive in an environment where users operate smartphones to check and maintain finances. Barclays Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley said that payments are “the battleground of finance over the next 15 years,” and that the company needs to hold its ground from Amazon and Apple.

Other banks are paying attention to the trends as well. Apple and Goldman Sachs are in the process of developing a joint credit card that will enable the investment bank to delve into the consumer finance world, and for Apple to have a larger role in how people manage money.

Competition is everywhere, especially from digital outfits like Monzo in the U.K., which creates products that only exist on smartphones.

The BPay wearable will be moved to the Pingit app.

Barclays, in preparation for Brexit, also announced that it moved about 15 percent of its total assets to Dublin.

About $1.57 trillion in moved assets involves about 5,000 of the bank’s clients, while Barclays noted that it expects minimal impact on its staff in London.

“As we announced in 2017, Barclays will use our existing licensed EU-based bank subsidiary to continue to serve our clients within the EU and beyond 29 March 2019, regardless of the outcome of Brexit,” Barclays said in a statement. Its operations in Dublin are slated to double in size because of the shift in assets related to business that had previously been conducted in the U.K. via EU branches, the BBC said.

“Our preparations are well-advanced, and we expect to be fully operational by 29 March 2019,” the bank added, citing the date Brexit is slated to occur.