Here's Why Barclays Doesn't Support Apple Pay

By James O Malley on at

We found out last night that Apple Pay is launching in the UK in July, which is great news for most people. But there is one bank that appears to be sitting out for the time being: Barclays.

With customers left scratching their heads by the omission, Barclays UK tweeted the following, to clarify its position on Apple's payment service:


"Talks remain constructive" usually means that both sides disagree with each other, but luckily nobody has thrown a punch during a meeting yet.

The reason behind it seems to be that Barclays has already invested heavily in its own mobile payment system, Barclays Pingit. Pingit, rather than using NFC, works on the premise that you can send and receive cash by using just a mobile phone number to identify the other person (think like how PayPal uses email addresses to send payments). You can also use the Pingit app's "business directory" to find businesses that support payments using the system.

The problem for Barclays is that if it enables Apple Pay, it is not just ceding some control over payments over to Apple, it is also essentially admitting defeat. Arguably, Pingit has already lost the battle, given the limited support of just one bank, with fewer merchants participating (Apple Pay should work on most contactless payment readers) – but corporate pride is presumably getting in the way of what would otherwise be a sensible business decision.

So it appears for the time being, if you're a Barclays customer wanting to use Apple Pay, you might be out of luck. [Engadget]