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Barclaycard goes digital

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Posted: 4 pm ET

Barclaycard has joined the mobile wallet revolution.

The credit card issuer says its co-branded credit cards with L.L. Bean and U.S. Airways will be added to Google Wallet, a smartphone app that stores credit cards, prepaid cards and loyalty cards. Users simply tap their phone and pay at enabled registers. Barclaycard plans to include other co-branded cards soon.

"We were impressed that Google Wallet went to market last fall, and they learned from and improved on that," says Dekkers Davidson, head of mobile commerce for Barclaycard US. "We find its new version to be more consumer-friendly, more secure and private."

Google recently changed how card information is stored on Google Wallet. Data is kept in a cloud-based server as an added protection against hackers. Previously, the information was stored on the phone, which required cooperation from cellphone makers.

With the change, the search engine's mobile wallet has the ability to upload any payment card. American Express, however, has yet to allow its cardholders to store their information on Google Wallet.

Google isn't the only game in town, though.

Isis, a venture among Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T, is supposed to launch its version of a mobile wallet in the next few days, according to a report in Bloomberg earlier this month. The Isis debut will be limited to Austin, Texas, and Salt Lake City before expanding nationally. The Isis website didn't provide any update on its launch.

Davidson said that Barclaycard has been in talks with Isis for a few years and won't rule out a partnership there. The company teamed up with Google Wallet because it was interested in serving customers now, he says.

"I think the story is going to take a while to play out. We will see different forms of wallets going to market," says Davidson. "We think Google has a compelling start, and we want our cardholders to be in on the first pioneer of the mobile wallet."

Have you used a mobile wallet?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron

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