Ten years ago, Barclaycard launched the first ever contactless card - a landmark innovation that revolutionised the way we spend our money. Since then, we’ve been committed to finding ways to make consumers’ lives even easier and have led the way for truly innovative payments. From cutting down those pesky queues to taking contactless beyond the traditional till point, as touch-and-go celebrates a milestone anniversary, we’ve recapped our favourite innovations from the past ten years.
Contactless cone, anyone?
Meltdowns at the ice-cream van became a thing of the past this August as Barclaycard’s first ever self-serve contactless ice-cream machine helped revellers enjoy their traditional summer treat in under 60 seconds - all with a tap of their contactless device. Whilst discovering that 40% of ice-cream lovers became frustrated at long queues, we were surprised to find that over a quarter (26%) would give the queue the cold shoulder and give up their frosty treat altogether. Since summer is the busiest time for the humble ice-cream van, merchants could be losing out on lucrative sales and we thought this simply wouldn’t do.
The 60-second pint
We were pretty proud to say we pioneered the world’s first contactless beer pump! We discovered that one in four bar-goers have considered abandoning their potential drinks, with 20% leaving the bar altogether when queues get too long. Brits say the average wait time at a bar during the festive season is 12 minutes – describing it as the worst part of a night out. To help pubs and bars speed up their service during this notoriously busy period, customers could pour their own pints of ale and pay with their contactless card or device, all within 60 seconds.
A fresh take on fast food
We know how it is, when it’s been a long day and there’s nothing in the fridge for dinner; you just want to get to the shop, grab what you need and go. Well, with our invisible payment concept grab+go consumers can do just that. Currently being trialled with our innovative app, grab+go turns your smartphone into a pocket checkout where you can buy your items with a single click and be on your way – no need for queuing at the till, PIN numbers, or even your contactless card.
Don’t forget your wellies and waterproofs…
From the legendary Phil Collins to pop prince Justin Bieber – Barclaycard presents British Summer Time Hyde Park is the annual show-stopping event for fans and families to see the hottest acts. The best part? Festival-goers needn’t worry about carrying cash as the park becomes completely contactless. From pizzas to pints (and anything in between), endless queues at the bar and the cash point become a thing of the past. Music fans can simply touch-and-go using their contactless cards, bPay bands, or trendy Topshop x bPay accessories - which leads us nicely on to…
Collaboration is king
2015 was the year contactless became chic, as we announced the launch of our first Topshop x bPay collection. Partnering with Topshop, we’ve incorporated contactless payment technology in everyday accessories so consumers can shop with style and ease. It proved to be a favourite among fashionistas as we released our second range of accessories last year. The line included bracelets, smartphone cases, stickers and key chains, so however shoppers wish to spend, they can pick their accessory and use it wherever they see the contactless symbol.
Save the change for the penny machines
Back in 2014, we took our contactless mission to the seaside as we brought Blackpool Beach into the 21st century with Dillon the donkey. One of the most traditional forms of beach entertainment for kids was given a technology makeover as Dillon was kitted out with a contactless saddle. Parents no longer had to worry about tears and tantrums when they didn’t have change – one tap and they were off for a ride down the famous Blackpool beach.
Touch-and-go payments have gone from strength to strength in the last ten years and we’re proud to be at the forefront of this. So, what’s next - supermarket trolleys? Sunglasses? Who knows what will be up for the contactless treatment in our quest to make shopping more convenient. As contactless continues to be a firm favourite among British shoppers, we certainly won’t be stopping anytime soon.