Barclays says new bPay will make life easier for disabled customers

Barclays has said its new bPay method of payment, which sees customers using contactless wristbands and keyfobs on purchases under £30, is the latest of its tools that will make life easier for disabled customers.

Adi Latif interviewed by Paul Smyth

It handed out 100 wristbands last week at the Assistive Technology Exhibition and Conference, which is supported by the Barclays and held at ILEC conference centre in London.

The bank says that people with dexterity and mobility requirements, sight loss and dyslexia have found bPay has made making a payment easier.

Paul Smyth, head of IT accessibility for Barclays, said the business was aiming to be “the most accessible company in the FTSE 100”.

Customers can buy one of the contactless watches, wristbands, fobs or stickers for between £14.99 and £19.99 and activate it for payments.

"The fact you can wear it on your wrist and don't have to fumble around in your bag looking for your purse to get out your card made it much easier to use. I will carry on using it especially as I am disabled and have problems with both my hands,” says Sarah, a Barclays customer.

June, a blind customer of the bank, is quoted by Barclays as saying: "I love the freedom the wristband gives me because I don't have to worry about sorting out money in shops."

Speaking at the event, Adi Latif (right in photo with Paul Smyth of Barclays), accessibility consultant at AbilityNet said it was “fantastic that AbilityNet has been able to work closely with Barclays throughout all stages of the development life cycle to ensure their banking app is one of the most accessible in the world.”

He also discussed the innovations Barclays is making, such as the bPay and the new contactless cash feature which will allow a person to use their smartphone to withdraw money at Barclays cash machines without physically using a cash card.

ATEC, which was held on 6 June, showcases excellence in assistive technology that removes barriers to learning and work. It saw presentations from Lord Chris Holmes of Richmond MBE and former Paralympian and Molly Watt, Ambassador and advocate of Molly Watt Trust and Sense.

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