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Company Spotlight: Barclaycard

Anita Liu Harvey,Vice President, Strategy and Innovation, Barclaycard


Barclaycard Business Solutions provides omnichannel payment solutions to businesses of all sizes across different sectors including retail. The division provides everything from payment terminals and technology through to merchant services to enable retailers to take payments from shoppers wherever they are, be that in a physical store or via digital channels.

Barclaycard Business Solutions is a pioneer in terms of launching new forms of payment, having been at the forefront of developing and launching contactless and new mobile payment solutions.


Mobile phones have become the remote controls for our lives, with many shopping journeys starting and finishing on mobiles. Mobile interactions range from initial inspiration on social media channels to browsing and research, receiving mobile marketing offers to encourage shoppers to make a purchase, reserving or paying for goods and using click and collect – all before even entering a store.

The mobile’s impact on shopping doesn’t stop there. Once the person is in the store they can use their phone to showroom or complete a purchase digitally on their phone or at a checkout using ApplePay or Android Pay.

The majority of web traffic now goes through mobile devices rather than desktop with mobile-equipped consumers expecting the websites that they are browsing, the retail spaces they visit and the marketing messages they encounter to be automatically optimised for mobile. This mobile optimisation doesn’t apply to just marketing, branding and engagement but includes payments too.

Recent research suggests that by 2020, two thirds of online payments will be made through smartphones, meaning that the majority of ecommerce payments will be through phones, not desktops nor iPads (OC&C Strategy – Google and PayPal). Retailers, if they are not already, have to prioritise the mobile customer experience over the desktop experience when they are thinking about digital touchpoints.


Mobile is bringing together the on- and offline shopping worlds and driving the omnichannel experience. Gone are the days when you could consider different channels as separate businesses. Mobile means that shoppers are constantly connected and always have access to the digital touchpoints. They want to constantly engage throughout the shopping experience, whether that’s showrooming in store or click and collecting their order. Consumers are not thinking about the different channels they are using; they are simply shopping.

Mobile is driving footfall into store as marketing sends offers that can be redeemed in store and click and collect becomes the third most popular digital service in the UK. Once the consumer is in store they are a captive market for the retailer. Mobile can then be used to create an immersive shopping experience in store with apps and QR codes opening up additional product data and allowing additional inventory to be viewed online through virtual aisles and magic mirrors. Retailing is now about using the digital and physical touchpoints together to create, enhance and enrich shopping experiences.


Omnichannel raises challenges for retailers though as they strive to create a seamless experience for consumers. Retailers need to bring together their front and back office systems to gain a single view of the consumer in order to understand their behaviour in every channel. However, around two thirds of companies still have their data in silos and that’s preventing them from being as effective as they could be in serving customers in the way that they want to be served today.

While retailers are working towards a long-term omnichannel vision many have to cope with short-term solutions, which see systems stitched together and inventory management and payments still in silos with manual processes holding things together.

Barclaycard is working with retailers to advise on what payments will look like in 5 – 10 years’ time and what they can do to future-proof their business. Barclaycard’s payment gateway, for example, is a single payments platform, which enables consumers to pay in physical stores and through digital channels and gives retailers a single view of payments – and the customer.


Online retailers are pushing a seamless and personalised experience, but there will still be a role for physical stores in the future with mobile touchpoints helping with brand engagement along the shopping journey and making payments in-store invisible. Stores will become less about the transaction and more about the experience. For example, showroom-only stores are emerging, in which consumers can try on items but make their purchase through a mobile app or kiosk and have the item delivered to their home. This means that the stores don’t need a stock room and tills, so sales associates can be on the shop floor engaging with shoppers and taking payments on a tablet or phone thus making the transaction seamless.

Stores in which the shopper can only pay with mobile are emerging too. Starbucks Mobile Order & Pay app, for example, is probably the most successful mobile wallet in use at the moment. Some 25% of all of Starbucks coffee in the US is paid for by mobile. The coffee chain has recently opened a store at its Seattle HQ in which shoppers can only order and pay with their mobile phone.


Barclaycard is focused on making payments as integrated and invisible as possible for retailers so that consumers can just enjoy the shopping experience. The company has begun trialling Grab+Go, a brand new payment concept that streamlines the way the consumers buy low-value goods by allowing them to scan and pay for their shopping using their smartphone, without the need to visit a physical checkout. Our payments integration business unit will continue to work with retailers to integrate and embed payments into their wider business eco systems, using our omnichannel expertise to integrate solutions in a way that will be seamless for the consumer and retailer. Barclaycard’s omnichannel payment gateway, which is used by some of the largest retailers in the UK, will continue to evolve in alignment with the direction of the market to meet the future needs of retailers and consumers.


Barclaycard has been at the forefront of payments innovation since it introduced the UK’s first credit card in 1966. The company begun trialling its Grab+Go payments concept in May 2017 as it continues to make purchasing and paying quicker and easier for both consumers and merchants. Grab+Go streamlines the way consumers buy low-value goods by allowing them to scan and pay for their shopping using their smartphone, without the need to visit a physical checkout. In essence, transforming their smartphone into a ‘pocket checkout’ with a transaction completed with a single click. Users download the Grab+Go app, create an account and pre-load their payment details, and then use their smartphone camera to scan the barcode on items as they go. When finished, they click ‘I’m done’ and walk out; payment is taken seamlessly and invisibly in the background and the receipt is stored in the app. There’s no need to enter card details, a PIN, or even swipe or tap for every transaction. The concept is currently being trialled by Barclays and Barclaycard staff in its restaurant in London and plans are in place to expand the tests to its offices in Northampton, Teesside and Wilmington in the US ahead of a planned public roll out. “The way in which people shop and pay has evolved significantly over the past decade, and as the use of mobile and wearable payments grows, we are constantly looking at how we can use technology to make our customers’ lives easier,” says Usman Sheikh, Director of Design & Experimentation, Barclaycard.

He continues: “An important part of this trial will be getting feedback from colleagues, as well as the operators in the staff restaurants, to further develop the product and proposal. Once the final version is complete, it will be available to our clients to help revolutionise payments in their own businesses.”


Company founded: 1966, the same year Barclaycard introduced the UK’s first credit card.

Global reach: Barclaycard is an international payments business with offices in Europe and the USA. In 2015 we processed more than £293bn in transactions globally. Barclaycard is a pioneer of new forms of payment, and is at the forefront of developing viable contactless and mobile payment schemes for today and cutting-edge forms of payment for the future.

Contact: To find out about how your business can get ahead of the game, visit our website: or call us on 0800 096 8237.

This Company Spotlight was produced by InternetRetailing and sponsored by Barclaycard. Funding articles in this way allows us to explore topics and present relevant services and information that we believe our readers will find of interest.

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