Orange has teamed up with Barclaycard to produce a new contactless credit card which it claims can be used in over 20,000 stores across the UK.
The “contactless cards” allow people to make quick purchases of a few pounds without the need for entering a PIN, and there are a few extra features for Orange mobile users:
…Orange mobile phone customers can choose to set a limit of, for example, £50 a week, and would be sent an SMS alert when they come close to this. The card can also be used for ordinary transactions if a contactless pay point isn’t available. The usual credit checks from Barclaycard will apply before the card is issued, and it comes with an interest rate of 18.9% for purchases or 29.9% for cash withdrawals. Customers buying Orange products or services will get three months interest free on their first purchase if they use the card.
Orange and Barclaycard are also working towards launching a mobile phone with its own contactless technology that could be used in a similar way.
Contactless cards are not completely new – London’s Oyster card (pictured) is a good example of such technology being put to good use.
Whilst it’s easy to see how this technology can improve certain types of transaction, not everyone is convinced. The comments on the Guardian article tend to veer towards the negative, with several commentors suggesting these cards could lead to all manor of fraudulent activity.
The other angle that concerns people is the “traceability” of every little transaction – to some this is just another example of Big Brother looking on and recording every single purchase we make. But on the positive side, this would also make it far easier to track our spending- it’s often the smaller items that are most difficult to keep track of, so this type of technology, and the increase in the use of mobiles for making payments, should make those problems a thing of the past.
What do you think? Do you currently use contactless cards, and if so, what has your experience been? Are you worried about increased levels of fraud or the thought that every purchase you make could eventually be traced back to you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
photo credit: kalleboo
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- iZettle Launches Card Reader to Support Apple Pay & Contactless Payments (May 19, 2015)
- Free Credit Score For Barclaycard Customers (November 20, 2015)