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Barclaycard PayTag Sticks on Your iPhone to Enable Wireless Payments

Paying for things with a swipe of your smartphone is the future, and in some places it’s already here.

A select few Android and BlackBerry smartphones contain an NFC chip which can make an instant wireless connection with pay terminals in certain shops, allowing small purchases to be made using your phone and an app with pre-paid money, such as Google Wallet.

NFC isn’t a major technology just yet though, with some major phones such as Apple’s iPhone 4S not featuring the tech. So what do you do if you’ve got a phone without NFC but you love the idea of wireless payments? Barclays think they have the answer with the new Barclaycard PayTag: a sticker that goes on the back of your phone.

The sticker is about one third the size of a credit card and contains the relevant tech to make a connection between your phone and a wireless payment terminal, just the way some Barclaycard users can do with their credit cards.

PayTag links to your bank account and can be used to make payments of up to £15, which will be updated to £20 over the summer. The limit, as with Barclaycard credit cards, is a security feature. If your phone or card were to be stolen, it could be used to make payments without a pin or signature being required, so large payments won’t be allowed.

This sort of thing is likely to become very popular in the run-up to the London Olympics, and Barclays has already seen this.

Visa predicts that the number of outlets will increase by 50 per cent by the end of the year,” while “all London busses will be accepting contactless payments by the end of 2012” said David Chan, CEO of Barclaycard consumer Europe.

Imagine the ease of swiping your phone when you get on the bus in order to pay, saving the hassle of fumbling in your pockets for the right change. With the massive increase in tourism hitting our fair capital for the Olympic Games later this year, that can only be a good thing.

While the obvious attraction of PayTag is to allow those without NFC-equipped phones to make wireless payments, the sticker doesn’t actually need to be stuck to your phone. You could put it on your wallet, on a keyfob or anywhere really.

Good idea or would you not like to put a sticker on your shiny new smartphone?

Let us know your thoughts on our comments below or via our @Gadget_Helpline Twitter page or Official Facebook group.

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