COVID-19: Barclaycard innovates contactless payments
Barclaycard has announced that it will increase the contactless payment limits to £45 in a bid to combat the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Barclaycard has been a pioneer of contactless payments in the UK since the concept was first realised in 2007, so perhaps it is no surprise that it is leading the way in modifying the rules of contactless in the UK in a drive to prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Responsible for overseeing almost half of the UK’s credit and debit card transactions, Barclaycard has a key role to play in both the evolution of payments in the UK, as well as the prevention of the deadly virus.
From 1 April 2020, it will increase the contact limit from £30 to £45 across UK retailers. Barclaycard provides this service to over 150,000 terminals across the UK retail sector, and the increase in this limit will help to further prevent UK citizens from handling cash as the pandemic reaches its peak.
Barclaycard announced that in light of the current pandemic, it will be prioritising the deployment to key sectors such as grocery and supermarkets, bakeries, pharmacies and petrol service stations. Though this increase may seem small, it has a wide potential to prevent the handling of cash or chip and pin terminals, and the payment business has shared that it intends to raise this limit further in the coming months.
As this news comes to light, we take a look at the history of payments at Barclaycard:
Barclaycard leads the way in pioneering contactless payments in the UK. This technology was originally designed for the OnePulse card, which could be used to pay at around 22,000 payment terminals across the Transport for London network (TfL). Spending was originally capped at £10.
Contactless payment limit was increased by £5 to £15.
Quick Tap – the first mobile payment device in the UK – is launched by Barclaycard and Orange, allowing users to pay with their phone by tapping it onto a contactless reader.
Enter wearable tech: Barclaycard introduced PayBand, the UK’s first wearable payment device. It also launched PayTag this year, a small sticker that goes on the back of a user's phone, giving the device the same capabilities as a contactless Barclaycard. Payment limit increases from £15 to £20, and the TfL network expands to include London’s 8,500 buses.
Record-breaking year: annual contactless transactions reach £1bn for the first time ever.
Barclaycard continues to work with TfL and helps introduce yellow Oyster card readers that take contactless cards.
Spending limit increases from £20 to £30.
Contactless limit increases from £30 to £45.
Rob Cameron, CEO of Barclaycard Payments said: “It’s more important than ever for merchants and their customers to be mindful of their collective health and safety. We are proud to be taking a leadership position in the UK by commencing the deployment of a higher contactless threshold. By supporting the ability of customers to spend up to £45 via contactless, we are playing a part in helping UK consumers to pay safely and securely in these challenging times”.
- Read the latest edition of Business Chief Europe edition, here
Did you know? According to Barclaycard proprietary data, paying with contactless saves an average of 7 seconds per transaction as opposed to Chip and PIN, and 15 seconds when compared to cash.
For more information on all business in Europe, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief Europe.
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”