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Contactless payment wristband ready for use in London

Barclaycard has this week unveiled a wristband that can be used to make contactless payments around London.

Due for official launch in 2015, the bPay band has been made available to 10,000 consumers to mark the launch of contactless payment on London's transport network. The new way of paying is being marketed as a tool to make the daily commute more efficient and as a method of avoiding 'card clash', where multiple contactless cards are read during a transaction.

The band contains a contactless payment chip, can be linked to any UK Visa or MasterCard debit or credit card, and can be used to touch and pay for transactions of £20 or less, including – from this week – on the London transport network.

Londoners wishing to sign up for a bPay band should visit the official website to register their interest. The first 10,000 applicants will be sent their band this month, and will be able to use it after a registration process.

Tami Hargreaves, head of contactless at Barclaycard, said: "With bPay band you just hold your wrist to the card reader to pay for your travel, you can then also use it to pay for your coffee on the way into the office, and lunchtime sandwich."

The wristband is free and there are no usage fees for consumers, who can add funds manually or automatically into to a pre-paid account.

The unveiling of bPay comes a week after Apple announced its Apple Watch for the wearable technology market, which is expected to grow significantly over the next five years. It also arrives for consumers at a time when contactless payment via debit cards is becoming an increasingly popular way of paying for small shopping trips.

According to Barclaycard, the amount spent using contactless in the UK tripled in the year to the end of June, with consumers now spending £5 million a day through this method and the number of transactions made each month growing at a rate of 20%. The introduction of contactless payments on the London transport network is widely expected to help grow this figure in the coming year.

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