Apple Pay is due to launch in the UK later this week and all of the major banks are due to support the new payment system, except one: Barclays.
And now we know why: It seems that the bank doesn't want to join Apple's club - it wants to go solo and do its own thing, with its new "bPay" wireless payment system. It isn't the first-time Barclays has tried to establish its own platform - Ping-It is another recent example.
According to CNet, bPay works like contactless payments on your credit or debit card - but instead of the chip sitting inside a card you can instead get it in a keyfob, a wristband or even as a sticker, which can be stuck on to whatever you like... such as your phone. Who needs Apple?
The idea is that the different form factors make it more convenient - so if you're out for a run and don't have anywhere to stash your phone, you can use the wristband to pay for stuff instead. The benefit to Barclays of the bank doing it their own way is that it gets to keep all of the transaction fees too. Like other contactless payments, there will be a limit of £20 - rising to £30 later this year.
Interestingly, bPay isn't just going to be limited to Barclays customers. Customers from other banks will be able to sign up too, as all users will have a "digital wallet" which money must be transferred to before wireless payments will work. This wallet can be topped up with manually, or set to auto-top-up when you go below a certain threshold. All you need is to be over 12 and have a Visa or MasterCard.
bPay apparently launches on July 1st, with the sticker priced at £14.99, fob at £19.99 and wristband at £24.99. [CNet]