Barclays' Apple Pay and Android Pay rival has finally been revealed


Update: To clarify, the update only comes into play for users with Barclaycard credit cards using the Barclaycard Android app, not the Barclays Mobile Banking app.

Barclays was criticised for not rolling out Apple Pay to its customers when the service launched in the UK last year, but it seems the company is ready to fully embrace mobile payments.

The credit card division of the firm, Barclaycard, has exclusively confirmed to techradar that a new update to the Barclaycard mobile payments Android app brings with it NFC payments, and it's launching today.

You can make payments direct from your phone for amounts up to £30 – just take your phone out, activate NFC and place it on the contactless reader. You don't even need to boot the Barclaycard app.

Quick and easy

In some retailers you can pay for items up to £100, but if the amount is over the standard £30 limit you'll have to enter your card's PIN within the app. For smaller payments there aren't any security protocols.

The Android app will work with any phone that has NFC and the latest version of the app. Barclaycard has suggested that most customers will get the updated app in the coming days.

It's worth noting that without strict security built into the app – such as TouchID for Apple Pay – people would be able to use your stolen phone to make £30 payments. But as much as it's a worry, it's no different to if you lost a contactless card.

Barclaycard could not confirm whether the update was coming to iOS, but did say that Apple Pay for is still in the works as well, although there's no update on when it will be officially rolling out.

This new Android feature comes long before Android Pay officially launches in the UK – with some sources suggesting it won't be launching for quite some time.

You can download the Barclaycard app from the Google Play Store now.

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.