Barclaycard Tries Customization

Barclays is looking into expanding its share in markets, including the U.S. and Germany, with new money freed up through its exit from the African business.

Barclaycard is trying customization to promote its bPay contactless payments and has partnered with case manufacturer Case Station. Consumers can go online and design their own smartphone case with an embedded bPay chip.

Personalization of products and services is what has brought many a luxury brand back to the forefront. Luxury brands are allowing customers to design their own bags and shoes online, and Hermès, for example, offers VIP customer service on its eCommerce website for online shoppers.

The “IKEA effect” has been adopted by Barclaycard in the U.K., which is integrating its bPay contactless payments technology into personalized smartphone cases.

According to Finextra, Case Station, a smartphone case designer that allows online shoppers to design their own iPhone, Samsung and LG cases, has partnered with the bank to provide a customized product with bPay chips built in.

Customers use online images to select their specific case design, while the embedded bPay chips link to digital wallets used by anyone holding a U.K.-registered Visa or Mastercard debit or credit card. Users either set up an automatic top-up to add money to the wallet, use a mobile app or go online. Purchases, however, are limited to £30.

Barclays is not the first to tackle hardware. Topshop, the fashion retailer, has already built a chip-holding case that can attach to watches and fitness bands.

Consumers can already use Apple Pay and Android Pay, both of which do not limit the amount of the transaction, but Barclays has historically resisted third-party payment platforms. Barclays announced support for Apple Pay earlier this year, but it was the last big bank to support Apple Pay, which had launched nine months previously. Barclays has its own mobile banking app for Android users, which limits transactions to £100.



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