Various banks are the world are working on releasing their contactless payment applications, as all of these financial institutions want to be part of the new hype. Barclays is the latest bank to do so, and their application features the Host Card Emulation technology. Whether or not this app will put contactless payments on the map, even more, remains to be seen, as Bitcoin remains a stiff competitor.
Host Card Emulation Technology For Contactless Payments
Coming up with something new and creative in the world of contactless payments these days is all but impossible these days. There is only so much financial institutions can achieve that hasn’t been done before, and contactless payments are almost at the limit of what is possible when relying on existing infrastructure.
Host Card Emulation technology, on the other hand, is something completely new. Or that is what Barclays would like people to believe anyway, even though the technology has been around for quite some time. All this feature does is digitize the physical credit card people own already, and allow them to use as a mobile contactless payment solution.
While over 300,000 locations across the UK will be accepting this new form of payment, the question becomes whether or not consumers will install a new application for doing so. Most plastic cards have a contactless payment chip these days, rendering the need for additional software moot. All Host Card Emulation does this is mirror the card in a digitized format on a mobile device.
Furthermore, there is the topic of security that needs to be addressed when storing all of that valuable payment information on a phone in digital format. The question becomes whether or not Barclays will ensure the data is protected and encrypted properly within the application. Otherwise, there is very little use for this application.
There is one interesting feature of this technology as well, though. If a user loses their physical card linked to the app, they can immediately request a new virtual card and use it within minutes. The physical replacement will take a few days or weeks to arrive, but consumers will not be hampered by their spending habits by any means. In this regard, Host Card Emulation offers something different at least.
On the topic of spending, transactions will be limited to GBP30, unless the user ends their card PIN in the app. Doing so will raise the transaction limit to GBP100, indicating this form of payment is designed for smaller purchases rather than going out and buying a new smartphone.
Bitcoin is More Secure Than Other Mobile Solutions
Even though there is a lot of praise for the efforts made by financial institutions to bring mobile payments to their customers, they all lack feasibility. It does not make sense for consumers to use contactless payments in its current form, simply because this new breed of paying is using the outdated legacy system. Such a compatibility mismatch will render the entire concept of contactless payments through traditional means completely useless in a few years from now.
The only form of convenient mobile payments in a contactless manner is Bitcoin. Throughout the years, developers have perfect an easy and convenient way for people to send money from their mobile devices, regardless of where they are in the world. Frictionless, cheap, and convenient solutions do not come by often, and Bitcoin should not be ignored.
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