back to article Barclaycard and Orange plot NFC Christmas

Barclaycard has let slip plans to deploy NFC-enabled mobile phones, along with Orange, before the end of 2010. The details were spotted by NFC World, which reported on a presentation given by Barclaycard's Head of Innovation Marketing, Sarah Mansfield, during which she stated that by the end of 2010 Orange customers will be …


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  1. mfraz


    Thought NFC was an abbreviation of No F***ing Clue, which goes quite well seeing as Orange are involved.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Chicken and Egg

    Sagem in addition to Nokia have made NFC enabled handsets. It is also possible to retro fit NFC onto an existing phone using this product NFC SD cards exist and are supported for windows mobile devices, plus this device exists for the iPhone.

    The supposed benefit of having NFC in you phone is that you lose the need to carry one or more credit, transport cards etc. Given that only a small amount of merchants accept contactless payment, people will need to keep their current cards in their wallet. There is no reason why these card accounts cannot be tied into mobile phone applications, which means that having the card in the phone doesn't really offer any benefit at all.

    There has been some traction in areas such as mobile employee management / activity tracking applications (e.g but there isn't really a killer consumer application yet.

    In mainland Europe, NFC appears to be a little more popular with services like this in Belgium.

    The only way for the technology to succeed, is for it to be put into devices with no real intended use case and see what the development community come up with. Obvious ideas such as the quick and easy checkin to a venue, acesss to a club etc spring to mind. NFC hardware which could be used with such handsets ranges in price from a few pence (e.g the cost of tags to put on a poster etc) to a few pounds for a PC/Mac NFC device (, plus libnfc makes it easy to write apps that use these devices.

    SMS is an example of a technology that took on a use case totally different from its intended purpose (remember a phone from 17 years ago where SMS was about 8 menu levels deep) and I believe that NFC will be the same thing if it ever becomes present on enough devices to gain traction.

  3. Andrew James

    I dont see the problem

    Barclaycard has been punting out cards with this technology built in for a while now... in fact, i just recently had a new card through with the little o)) symbol in the corner.

    Sooner or later more and more shops will start putting the technology in to allow people to use it and then more banks will start shipping cards including the tech and before you know it we'll all be doing it and wondering how we ever coped having to put a pin in every time.

    Why is it such a big issue that you can use your phone to do this instead of a small plastic rectangle with rounded edges?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      i'd only want it if it's optional

      both card and phone. The idea that i can be charged money, simply for waving my wallet/phone near a sensor is not something i want anything to do with.

      It may be convenient, but i'm sure that will be small comfort as soon as a reader is set up somewhere charging everyone £15 for simply walking past/near it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Its NOT optional!

        At least with Barclaycard. I recently got my new CC through and it has NFC in it.

        I phoned them to ask if it was possible for me to get a card without it and the first call center monkey said 'No'.

        I then asked to speak to a supervisor, and they said 'No, and you are as protected as if you've used a pin'. I also asked if it would be possible to disable the feature on my account, the answer was again 'No'. I finished the conversation by saying i would be looking at getting a credit card elsewhere!

    2. Aldous

      doubt it

      in my nine years of retail i can tell you they move very slow. they only went chip and pin with such gusto because there was a cut off date (feb 14th of that year iirc) that meant any fraud afterwords on signature cards would not be covered.

      remember retailers get charged a small percentage per card transaction (which is why mos small stores have a minimum X pounds policy) why would they want to encourage transactions under 10 GBP to be done on rfid cards?

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Laugh a minute at Barclays

    NFC is a disaster waiting to happen!! Just imagine a proximity insecure link between you bank account and your mobile!!

    You just need a POS NFC enabled with a larger antenna and it's fraud city.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You missed one thing...

      You need a POS, a large antenna makes no difference to distance, because the card wouldn't be able to transmit back over a large distance. IIRC about the best distance that these cards can be coaxed to work over is about half a meter.

      On top of this you need a merchant account.

      How do you suggest running a merchant account fraudulantly and not having anyone notice?

  5. Peter White

    many problems, little thought

    Point 1

    NFC is not attractive to me due to the issues of fraud, e.g anyone who has access to your card can spend up to £15 wthout your permission or needing to prove they have authority (by signature or pin input) eg daughter want a £10 top up for her phone, borrows my card get the top up and pays by waving it near the reader having carefully placed thumb over name on card so cashier does not see MR x instead of MISS x, replaces card in my wallet and i am none the wiser until i check my balance or get the statement

    how does one then get a refund from the bank? as the card was used fruadulently!!

    or will as i suspect the bank will say my problem due to physical security issue of the card?

    point 2

    the app for showing the nearest nfc accepting outlet

    for this app to work there has to be a tracking device, eg gps enabled on your phone

    how many phones or contract state that you have provided "informed consent " to this ability to track you??

    i regard it as an invasion of privacy, and yet another covert method of being able to track and monitor people, and more data available to hm gov to label you a terrorist or stitch you up for something else as you "were in the area"

    call me synical, but that is just the way big bsiness and the current hm gov have made me, i am a number to be tracked, marketed for money and genrally abused by anyone who has access to data or my "profile"

    thanks but no thanks to NFC i prefer old fashoined method and value my privacy


    mine is the coat with the faraday shieled pockets

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      1) If your daughter takes your card and spends on it, you've got two options (as you have now, if she finds out your PIN) They are: 1: call the bank (who will in turn call the cops) and explain what happened. and 2: Deliver a severe bollocking.

      As it happens these cards ask for a PIN entry randomly somewhere in every 10 uses.

      2) There are many apps like this to find stations, food outlets, pubs etc. this is no different, switch it off if you have a problem with it.

      3) Yes, you are cynical. Your existing card will be able to track you just the same and I've not heard any suggestion that the banks have ever misused this data. It's not available to the government or law enforcement without a court order.

  6. Patrick O'Reilly

    Already have AR

    Barclay Card already have an augmented reality application. Well they have a Layar on iPhone and Android handsets that show where contactless payments are accepted as well as ATM's and branches.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So much ignorance about the technology...

    All those against this technology should stop using credit card (far less secure than a NFC enabled device), should stop buying online, should stop setting up direct debit accounts, should stop using banks, should stop using their Tesco cards, etc.

    It seems some people criticise any given technology they never seen in action just for the sake of criticising... comments such as the one about "big antennas being able to steal your details" are clearly written by people who know absolutely nothing about the capacity volume of a device, about the two way communication between a device and the tag, etc.

    Wake up, the world keeps moving!!!

    Or better said: GET A LIFE!!!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      RE. So much ignorance about the technology...

      No seriously, you can scam the card. Ebay gets you the POS. You need a bigger antenna, which also recieves with greater sensitivity as well as transmits greater distances, and the card can be interrogated from a greater distance. It's a fact. There are black hat examples on you*ube if you look.

      Soon there will be crims standing in stations scanning everyone who comes by. It will happen.

      It's not about taking money, it's about taking the details from the card.

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