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Over two million forgetful Britons face embarrassingly penniless situations as result of forgotten bar tabs

Tue Jan 19 09:00:00 EST 2016

  • A sixth of 21-55 year olds forgotten to retrieve a payment card after leaving it ‘behind the bar’
  • One in four (24 per cent) who forgot or lost their card admit to waking up their partner or housemate to pay for their taxi fare when arriving home – rising to a third (31 per cent) of men – whilst a quarter reported abandoning purchases at the till once they realised
  • 4.6 million payment cards needed replacing last year, as 2.7 million Brits lost their card at least once
  • Barclaycard becomes first in the UK to introduce ‘virtual card replacement’ for Android users, allowing customers to download a contactless version to their phone instantly
  • The service is part of an upgrade to the Barclaycard app that provides the UK’s first mobile contactless payment option for Android devices

Whilst many Brits will be abstaining from alcohol this January, half a million of us could still be visiting our favourite watering hole this week – not for a tipple or a bite to eat, but to retrieve a forgotten debit or credit card.

According to research from Barclaycard, a predicted 2.5 million British revellers will have left their cards at bars and restaurants during the festive season, with many ending up in embarrassing situations when they found they were without means to pay.

Almost a sixth of 21-55 year olds questioned (12 per cent of women and 20 per cent of men) reported that they have forgotten their credit or debit card behind the bar, having left it there when opening a tab. Nearly half (46 per cent) of those only realised later that day when going to pay for something else, with a further quarter (29 per cent) discovering their mistake the following day.

Being without a card led to awkward situations that Brits would rather not repeat. A quarter (24 per cent) – rising to almost a third (31 per cent) of men – admitted to red-facedly waking up a spouse or housemate to pay for their taxi fare when they got home.

Another one in four (25 per cent) was forced to abandon a purchase at the till upon realising they were unable to pay. Others may have annoyed the boss, with 18 per cent (rising to 24 per cent of Millennials, or those 21 – 32 years old) admitting they arrived late for work after scrambling to find loose change to pay for transport.

While many of these cards are recovered, 2.7 million  Brits lost their bank card permanently at least once during 2015 – accounting for almost 4.6 million  cards. Fortunately, for those truly unrecoverable cards, Barclaycard is now offering an industry-first ‘instant card replacement’ function as part of a revamp of its app, which also provides the UK’s first mobile contactless payment option for Android devices.

The service enables customers with a Visa card to have it immediately replaced onto their mobile phone if it is lost or stolen by simply calling the contact centre for free from the Barclaycard app. The virtual replacement card will be instantly downloaded and available for immediate use for contactless payments; a physical card replacement will then follow in the post.

The service is part of an upgrade to the Barclaycard app that also provides the UK’s first mobile contactless payment option for Android devices. In addition to paying for transactions of up to £30 using contactless, customers with Android Contactless Mobile can use the ‘touch and go’ technology to pay for transactions of up to £100 by entering their PIN into the app.

As the popularity of mobile payments rises, the time-honoured tradition of ‘leaving a card behind the bar’ may fade – reshaping what it will look like to ‘get the drinks in’ in twenty years’ time.

Tami Hargreaves, Commercial Director, Digital Consumer Payments at Barclaycard, said:

“It’s amazing that nearly three weeks after Christmas, half a million Brits are still retrieving forgotten cards from their favourite bars and restaurants. With cards increasingly being used to pay for everything from the morning coffee to an evening meal, going about your life while your card is somewhere else can lead to potentially awkward situations.

“It’s even harder when your card is lost or stolen. Barclaycard’s new Android Contactless Mobile feature is the first in the market that allows you to immediately download a new card to your mobile, and use it to make contactless payments. Customers are also able to pay with contactless for transactions of up to £100. With contactless spending now over a billion pounds a month, we may even be witnessing the beginning of the end for the bar tab as we currently know it.”

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