At Barclaycard, we’re proud of our innovative culture. Our goal – helping our customers buy and sell every day – is our creative inspiration, and it’s reflected in the convenience and speed of our greatest successes.
We want to surprise and delight our customers in everything we do; and that means really understanding what makes them tick – now, and in the future.
We’ve been using that understanding to experiment with some new ways to pay. Here’s what we’re working on, right now…
Queuing. It’s the one very British pastime we could all do without, including us here at Barclaycard. And when we see a problem, we like to solve it. So we created grab+go, an app that lets you simply grab the things you want to buy, scan their barcodes using the camera on your smartphone, and go. No need to visit the checkout – the app sorts out the payment in the background.
Once we’d come up with the idea and designed the software, we needed to test it. And we do mean ‘we’. Our colleagues have been pushing grab+go to its limits in an experimental area of our own cafeteria, to make sure the final product lives up to their high expectations. When it does, we’ll know it’s ready to go.
We’re strong believers in simple, effective solutions. With grab+go proposing a frictionless app-based experience, we’re reacting to developments in technology, and pre-empting customers’ calls for fast and checkout-free shopping experiences.
Pay @ Pump
Before we got to queues generally, we set our sights on what our customers told us was the worst of them all – the disorderly bar queue. Our Pay @ Pump trial saw a self-service beer pump with contactless built in, allowing people to pour and pay for their own pint in less than a minute. Considering that the average time spent queuing can be more than 10 minutes at busy times, Pay @ Pump could combat the queues, crowds and waiting times – big-time.
That’s good for businesses too. With 20% of pub-goers having previously chosen to head elsewhere rather than face a long wait, letting beer drinkers serve themselves with Pay @ Pump will mean faster service for everyone.
Contactless donation box
With no way to take cashless donations whenever or wherever they happen to be, charities are missing out on millions every year.
In a move to help them adapt to the growing tendency to carry little to no cash – we equipped 11 national charities with 100 extra-special contactless donation boxes.
Barclaycard provides the acquiring technology that allows charities to accept payments through the donation boxes and so we led the trial, bringing together partners from across the industry. Visa, which first enabled cardholders to support their favourite charities using contactless in 2014, commissioned the pod, which was designed by Sprout. Payworks developed the donation box app, and integrated this with payment functionality inside the Miura card reader. The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) consulted on the trial.
Using our payment expertise to open up opportunities for fundraisers, our contactless donation boxes were the first to accept both contactless and Chip and PIN contributions – vital in securing some donations which otherwise wouldn’t have been made in an increasingly cashless society.
Beyond the lab
Multiple brands have shown an interest in partnering with us to help turn our prototypes into fully-fledged products. For example, following the success of the three-month trial, one charity chose to extend the use of the contactless donation boxes thanks to their huge popularity.
As well as developing these prototypes, we’ll continue to listen to our customers and come up with new ideas to make payments even more simple. Innovation is a journey, not a destination – and there’s a lot more to come.