back to article Barclaycard slaps pay-by-bonk plasters on mobes

Barclaycard has launched a proximity-payment token embedded in a sticker, ideally sized for affixing to the back of a mobile phone, as a stop gap until the handsets catch up. The Barclaycard PayTag is a sticker about a third of the size of a credit card, but does not have the chip contacts or magnetic stripe. It is linked to …


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  1. wyatt

    Pay by bonk

    Macdonald drive through kiosks are using this quite well, just stick your card to the reader and then collect your cardboard meal from the next window..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pay by bonk

      This article is not about contactless cards... its about new stickers for phones that use the old/existing contactless tech.. good to hear you've caught up with last years technology though... well done you...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pay by bonk

        The article also talks about the amount of places that take this form of payment so I'd say wyatt's comment is well placed... well done you for not picking up the context.

        1. wyatt

          Re: Pay by bonk

          That was my point indeed!

    2. Robert E A Harvey


      ... or just eat the phone.

  2. JimC

    Stop Gab - typo of the day

    how I wish that were available on the average mobe - for remote activation of course...

  3. DuncanL

    "pay by bonk for bonk on a bonk by bonk basis"

    The Reg headline when ladies of negotiable affection start accepting contactless payments?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "pay by bonk for bonk on a bonk by bonk basis"

      If I'm paying for it then I want the contact!

      1. David Schmidt
        Paris Hilton

        Re: "pay by bonk for bonk on a bonk by bonk basis"

        Pay-by-bonk... the oldest profession of them all.

        1. Francis Boyle Silver badge

          I thought

          that was taxi drivers.

  4. Tom 35

    How is this sticker beter

    Then my current card?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How is this sticker beter

      This is what shops pay for banks to process transactions on average, (cash relates to the handling fee)

      Cash: 1.7p per transaction

      Debit card: 9.2p per transaction

      Cheque: 14.8p per transaction

      Credit card: 37.1p per transaction

      So you see,this is much better as the banks get much more money from the shop every time you buy something using it instead of cash. FYI, it's not supposed to replace your credit cards, it's supposed to replace cash.

      The BRC has said that some shops may have to increase prices to pay the extra charges. Will people who choose to pay cash get a reduced price? I doubt it...

      Now... depending if you're a Muppet or not, you may start to imagine up various reasons why this new system is much more convenient for you and much better than before and therefore is a good thing that you must use.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: How is this sticker beter

        Where did you get those numbers from? Ryanair or Easyjet?

        I was speaking to the landlord and landlady at my local the other day and asked about how much they pay for Chip and PIN, they said basically nothing. There is a minimum amount of cash payment before they get charged for any transactions and they'd never managed to get over this limit. It's a small pub, but people use card payment in there all the time.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          RE: Where did you get those numbers from? Ryanair or Easyjet?

          Try The British Retail Consortium.

          Where did yours come from? Oh, the bloke down the pub, I see...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: RE: Where did you get those numbers from? Ryanair or Easyjet?

            No, not the bloke down the pub, the upstanding member of the community who is the local pub landlord and a personal friend. I'm also working on a community buy out of said pub at the moment...

            However, the British Retail Consortium I wouldn't trust as far as I could throw.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: RE: Where did you get those numbers from? Ryanair or Easyjet?

              "I'm also working on a community buy out of said pub at the moment..."

              Well, you are about to find out just how much banks charge businesses to use their payment methods, and let me tell you something....It sure as hell isn't nothing.

              Good luck with your endeavor.

      2. JS Greenwood

        Re: How is this sticker beter

        Re 'This is what shops pay for banks to process transactions on average'... This misses the fact that your average cash transaction size is very small compared to your average credit card transaction size. And the credit card costs are to a large degree based on the insurance provided around misuse, etc.

        So, even if the ~3% fee charging is roughly the same, it's 3% of a lot less. And it'll end up being a lot less than 3% as fraud concerns around ~£10 are a lot less than ~£10,000.

        Plus, there's cost-from-bank and total-cost-to-store, which are different things. Handling cash in a store has a cost - loss, theft, etc. from staff. Moody £10 notes. Incorrect change given and the aftermath of that each time. And - possibly most importantly to many stores such as McD's - customer throughout. Knocking off the ~20-30 seconds per transaction of coin and paper handling adds up quite a bit.

        I wasn't all that bothered by contactless as a user, until I realised that I was carrying it as a fallback rather than a preferred form of currency (~2% cashback on credit cards has been a great incentiviser for me!), and that contactless in drive-thrus, etc, actually does remove hassle. I hate to say it, but I'm kind of converted now. However, handing over my phone through a window into which it disappears while they scan it in a Starbucks drive-thru is still a little unnerving. Even found one where the staff weren't allowed to take them as they'd dropped & broken too many shiny iThings.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How is this sticker beter

          "This misses the fact that your average cash transaction size is very small compared to your average credit card transaction size. And the credit card costs are to a large degree based on the insurance provided around misuse, etc."

          Really? You sure about that?

          Credit card fees are generally percentage based and debit card fees generally a fixed pence amount so the figures completely contradict your statement as the 37p average per transaction on credit cards does indicate a majority of small transactions rather than large ones. In fact I think the bog standard credit card payment processing fee is about 3.5% which, astoundingly enough, would make for a 35p processing fee on a £10 transaction.

          Also, Barclaycard have already said that they'll be protecting end users in the same manner as credit card users RE fraud and misuse so you can bet the costs won't be too far apart once it gets going and people start losing these things or allowing them to be stolen. In fact, your entire post is just complete bollocks really. Sorry...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easy mistake to make

    I've just realised that pay by bonk have a more innocent meaning. I had been attaching the tag to my trouser zip and have been grinding against the payment sensor to complete a transaction. It may explain some of the funny looks I've been getting.

    1. Bill B

      Re: Easy mistake to make

      I'll avoid paying the plumber by that method. On the other hand .. next time Sig Other wants to borrow a tenner ...

  6. goldcd

    Back of your watch

    seems a more sensible place (if you wear a watch) - only items that's attached to my person daily and unlikely to get lost.

    1. Rob Thorley

      Re: Back of your watch

      Except the sticker is 1/3 the size of a credit card - slightly too large, I would have thought?

  7. BugMan

    Stealth Bonk

    I wonder how thin the stickers are? would they fit on the inside of the back of my mobe case so I could pay by stealth bonk? I quite like the idea of a stealth bonk

    And why limit outselves to affixing the sticker to our mobe? There are endless possiblilities and I think El Reg should open a competition for the most innovative or unusual instrument to be waved in front of the payment terminal....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stealth Bonk

      I like this challenge.. and am off to buy a kipper as I type..

      (I dont have a sticker yet but I can insert my contactless card right?)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Stealth Bonk

        Okay, I'll be the first to suggest sticking it on a huge black ribbed knobbler, waving that at the payment point might be construed as threatening behaviour though.

    2. Greg J Preece

      Re: Stealth Bonk

      Stick it to the back of your hand and invent punch-to-pay?

      Stick it to your grundies and do the bump? Bump bump bu-bu-bump aw yeah?

      If they're in America already, I'm surprised someone hasn't had the balls to stick one to the side of his gun and scare the shit out of a few till operators with draw-to-pay, punk.

    3. wibble001

      Re: Stealth Bonk

      Or, as was suggested for Oyster cards, take the chip and put it on the end of a magic wand Harry Potter stylie.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Stealth Bonk

        Yeah I thought wand but as you say its been done.. Now an Oyster shell that would be a good one...

  8. ket

    Am I missing the point?

    I thought the reason for having an NFC enabled phone was that the software could be told what was going on and you'd be able to audit your recent transactions on the handset? This isn't an NFC enabled phone, it's a fancy sticker.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Am I missing the point?

      Yes and no. It is just a fancy sticker, which is what the article said.

      The point of an NFC phone (as far as the card issuers, banks, and payment schemes are concerned) is indeed to give you the ability to check transaction history and the like. The point of contactless payments in general depends who you are... for entities like Tesco it's to increase throughput, for you it's convenience, and for banks/issuers/acquirers/payment schemes pretty much the sole purpose is to displace cash transactions.

      The real point of this is probably to catch the people who don't/won't have NFC phones when useful NFC apps start appearing for payments over the next few months.

  9. madmalc

    I've been using mine in McDonalds & Greggs for months - slight waistline problem however - can I sue Barclays?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Land of the, err's

      Are you American?

      If YES - Sue , Sue , Sue

      If NO - Sorry because your not American you are not missing a geno

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NFC enabled Phone

    So does this cause interference wit NFC enabled phones?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: NFC enabled Phone

      Which of your accounts will be debited? With a little bit of luck you will end up paying twice.

    2. Boring Bob

      Re: NFC enabled Phone

      In theory no, the contactless standards takes in account the possibility of several cards available at the same time. The terminal will detect all the cards (including the NFC phone) and choose one to communicate with.

  11. Dick Emery


    Just found out my Xperia Arc S supports NFC. I don't think I would use it for McDonalds drive thru though. I'd probably drop it outside the car door (butter fingers). Still. A wallet light on metallic coins (my jacket already weighs a ton) would be a boon!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You could, perchance...

      ... leave some of the cruft, lint, and sundry other gewgaws you carry around with you at home.

      Personally I used to walk around with a rather heavy jacket and not notice the extra weight of all the stuff in the pockets, though now-a-days the jacket's much lighter and only contains the stuff I need it to. Weight is still negligible compared to the overall jacket.

      I keep the coins within limits through the old passing a few coins with the paper to minimise coins returned trick. Speed? Well, you can pay quickly or you can pay slowly, doesn't seem to matter whether it's with cash or any of the "better" but so much less anonymous alternatives. I've seen the archetypical aggravating slow payer do exactly the same thing with every single one of them: Tarry and annoy. Handling any of them well are acquirable skills. The cash is easily countable. The credit on a plaster on the back of the phone, less so.

      Though if you'd like to try and have a go at innovating, what about holographic, cryptographically secured plastic coins? Could be shiny, verifyable automatically, lots lighter and cheaper to make, and still physical objects without the complex and brittle technology and the long line of middlemen all salivating for their cut.

  12. cblondon

    Already on the majority of cards out there? I wish!

    Pay by bonk is on Barclays credit and debit and thats about it.

    The other banks and issuers are still faffing around trying to decide if it is worth it, or doing the odd pilot here and there.

    For this to catch on there needs to be a critical mass of users which means getting a decent percentage of cards (credit and debit) bonkable

    Once people are used to bonking at the till with their cards, then maybe things like the sticky will catch on

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  13. Dick Emery

    NFC not just for payments

    Just been Googling around and you can use NFC for all kinds of useful things (well geeky things at any rate). Stick tags anywhere and automate stuff!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Know a guy who...

      ... sticks stuff in boxes, then photographs them with a QR code. Want to find something? Look through the (high resolution, high quality) photos, then look up the box with the matching QR tag.

      Can't really do that with an RFID tag. Can't simply print radio tags (yet), either. Bit of a bummer.

      Bonk the phone on the fridge to start a timer for boiling eggs? That early and I'd have to call myself to find the phone. The old timer has a more intuitive interface, though you could do much the same with that handy-dandy multitouchscreen smartphone and "an app for that". Turn off the radio on the plane? You already have the bloody thing in hand, but where do you stick the tag so that it doesn't inadvertedly turn itself off when it shouldn't?

      RFID is nice for, well, sticking tags on things, sure. But does it make sense to do so? How many tasks are really bound to a place or an object in a way that makes sense to hold a reader to?

      Back in the day you had barcode readers to read, say, your university card, and then read some of a number of tags printed on laminated sheets. So instead of picking your choices off a menu on the nearby handy terminal-with-keyboard, you had to leaf through numerous sheets. It struck me as a bit silly. Much of the forced applying of rfid tags strikes me as similar, except that printing barcodes takes but a simple printer, a dot-matrix or thermal printer will do. RFID tags, though, are a nice earner for the manufacturers. No wonder they want us to stick them on bloody everything, whether it makes sense or not.

  14. D@v3

    Contactless vs pay-by-bonk

    The thing that I don't get, is it is called 'contactless payments' yet you make contact between the reader and sticker / card / phone / whatever....

    Pay-by-bonk is much better and more accurate. If it was widely adopted as the name for this 'new' tech craze, more people might get on board

    1. Parax

      Re: Contactless vs pay-by-bonk

      I think you have convinced me.. I'll ask to 'pay by bonk' next time I'm at McDonald's, and I'll ensure I exaggerate the bonk gesture with a BONK sound effect.

  15. a_mu
    Thumb Up

    more than one card

    What happens if I have two cards with the NFC on, and I 'bonk' my wallet,

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: more than one card

      If only you'd seen this.

  16. npo4

    I think these stickers are they're interim solution until the tech finally catches up...

    But unless taking your wallet out to "bonk" of your pocket is significantly slower, it's probably not too significant, as if you left your phone lying around, you wouldn't want anyone to see the sticker...

    The benefit when NFC comes is that it would still be authenticated which would prevent anyone else using your card.

  17. Martin H Watson

    But I don't have a phone... where should I stick it? I'm 54, worked in IT all my life, love gadgets but hate mobile phones witha vengance. I have no plans to buy one.

    1. Joeman

      Re: But I don't have a phone...

      Up your @rse!! - "Pay By Dump" LOL

      (sorry, couldnt resist)

  18. mr_spigot

    Why not Bank of England eCash?

    Not surprisingly, lots of comments about transaction charges. I'd love to use electronic cash this way but don't want x% of my income frittered away to the banks on cash transactions. We don't pay for transactions in hard cash because ukgov supplies it and shops absorb the cost of handling it. Now that hard cash is outdated doesn't it make sense for the government to develop ecash and keep it free. It will cost initially but may end up cheaper than printing/moving paper cash. Any downside... well they make a complete balls up of anything with software.

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