M-Retailing

Fitbit Pay arrives in UK and Arcadia offers host of new ways to pay

Users of Fitbit can start to use their devices to pay contactlessly in stores a la Apple Pay from today.

Initially only available on the fitness device maker’s Ionic smartwatch and with start-up distrupter bank Starling, the company hopes to see the service roll out across more Fitbit types and with more banks in the coming months.

Starling Bank, a mobile bank which offers money management and payment tracking through its app, is also the first UK bank to launch with Fitbit Pay, Apple Pay and Android Pay.

While Fitbit Pay will now be available for UK users a little under a month after the Ionic went on sale, its banking partnerships are far more limited than those secured by the Apple and Android mobile payment systems on launch.

Fitbit Pay will only be available for the small number of Starling Bank customers, which only opened its app beyond a handful of staff and product testers in March, compared to the millions of potential customers who could use Apple Pay on its UK launch.

At launch, Apple Pay on the Apple Watch was available on NatWest, Nationwide, Royal Bank of Scotland, Santander, Ulster Bank and MBNA when it was introduced to the UK.

Android Pay, meanwhile, which is available on Android smartphones and a handful of Android smartwatches, was available with Royal Bank of Scotland, First Direct, Halifax, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, M&S Bank, MBNA and Nationwide when it launched in the UK in 2016.

Meanwhile, Arcadia Group – parent to Topshop, Miss Selfridge and Dorothy Perkins – has done a deal with  Europe’s leading payment provider Klarna, giving consumers more choice when it comes to payment options. Shoppers across the Arcadia Group can now use Klarna’s Pay later and Slice it to easily purchase products online.

The deal expands on Klarna’s existing partnership for online consumer finance with Arcadia Group, which was launched in September 2016. Offering a wider variety of innovative payment methods cements the fashion giant’s position as a leader in the ecommerce space.

The expanded partnership will give customers increased flexibility and convenience when purchasing. Pay later lets shoppers place an order entering only a few personal details, receive their goods and pay 30 days after delivery, interest-free and with no fee for the service. Data is also saved so shoppers can experience an entirely frictionless checkout when they make repeat purchases. With Slice it shoppers can spread the cost of their goods over time for baskets over £60. This helps shoppers to make bigger ticket purchases by ‘slicing’ the cost into monthly payments.

Recent research by Klarna found that the millennial generation experiences higher levels of impulsiveness and impatience than older shoppers. Payment options were identified as a key way of averting this issue, with 20% of millennials saying they would feel less guilty if they were offered deferred payment options, and one in five more likely to complete a purchase if they knew they could spread the cost over time. By offering such payment options, Arcadia is able to alleviate the concerns of their key millennial audience.

Commenting on the partnership, Luke Griffiths, Klarna’s UK General Manager said: “We are delighted to expand our partnership with Arcadia and build on the success we have enjoyed over the past year. Together, we are giving payment choice and financial flexibility to Arcadia’s customer base, and it’s great to provide Klarna’s pioneering technology to such a wide and diverse audience.”

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