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Barclays' bPay Loop turns regular watches into contactless cards

Engadget Engadget 7/07/2016 Jamie Rigg

At this point, Barclays now plays nice with Apple Pay and last month, formally shunned Android Pay in favour of its own app for the platform. In addition, the bank has a range of devices that put contactless payments on your wrist, keychain and anything portable that'll welcome a sticker. Between all this and the dapper jacket the tech is built into, you'd think Barclays would have contactless covered. But today the bank is adding another member to the bPay family called the Loop: A contactless chip in a small silicon suit that's designed to make wristwatches and wearables like fitness trackers contactless-ready.

Made to slip onto straps and bands of 22mm or slimmer, the Loop isn't exclusive to Barclays customers. Like the other bPay devices, it draws from a mobile wallet accessible online or through a companion mobile app, and you can add funds from any debit or credit card with Visa or MasterCard on the front. You can also set the wallet to top-up automatically when it's starting to look tapped out.

Because the Loop offers no kind of active authentication, though, the max you can spend in one hit is limited to £30. Available to buy online today for £20, the Loop will also be plugged by Garmin and watchmaker Mondaine with some of their products. What will Barclays think of next, eh?


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