transforming contactless payment

Wearable tech is here to stay - and for Barclaycard, that’s just the beginning.

Seymourpowell’s first generation of designers created innovative products. Now, our designers create innovative meta-products - seamless combinations of hardware, software and service which together add up to innovative experiences (for example bPay).  

You can explore a few of our other technology innovation adventures here.


Barclaycard were looking to the future. We’d already developed a brand identity to bring together their online touchpoints, but people increasingly want digital services that integrate better with the real world, where digital meets physical - such as paying for things. Enter wearable tech.


Barclaycard wanted to know if they could take contactless card technology into other formats. So, we looked into the possibilities, asking a cross-section of people to keep a diary about the purchases they made and what types of contactless devices they could see themselves using.

Phones were out — too much personal information on there already — whilst rings, bracelets and key fobs were possibilities. So we started prototyping a new idea — payment wristbands — which people could use to buy small items in a faster, more secure way. An initial trial at the 2012 British Wireless Festival went extremely well, so we spent another year developing the concept further, including product design, packaging and graphics.

Research told us to steer clear of anything too overtly branded that said, ‘Hello. I’m wearing money’. So we swapped the Barclaycard palette for more consumer-oriented styles, creating a range of discreet wristbands and key fobs for everyday use.

In 2014 we launched two wider-scale trials, one for Southampton FC ticket holders and one for Transport for London commuters. Both groups were a good fit, with habits that involve hurrying through ticket barriers and buying food on-the-go. Bpay is now being rolled out accross the country in its latest form.