Pingit to close

Saw this over at the other place. It looks like Barclays are rethinking their digital strategy a bit. I can’t help but think that the recent closure of Launchpad as a stand-alone app is also related to this.

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Until very recently I thought Pingit was only for Barclays customers!

Perhaps part of the problem

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Indeed!

Also the core feature, namely Paym support, is built in to most bank accounts directly anyway - so little need for Pingit unless you are using one of their devices?

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Launchpad was integrated into main app… I think most ping it functions were moved to app as well?

That’s what I mean, yes.

It seems that Barclays are now planning on rolling everything into a single main app, whereas the previous strategy was to maintain multiple apps for different niche features.

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I think Barclays really could have got Pingit to be something like U.K. Venmo tbh, pair that with wearable devices and could even probably partner with watchmakers etc to get good usage potential

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Yes, but then they probably thought “what’s in it for us” as none of those activities are really profitable - unless you chalk the cost of Pingit up as marketing spend and try to use it to acquire customers for Barclays itself.

Also, Google Pay and Apple Pay basically killed off bPay, so there was little point trying to pursue that really.

Failure to develop a convincing financial product. Just building a payment system isn’t enough

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Yes, basically.

The lack of use cases beyond the basic P2P payments functionality didn’t make for a compelling enough product.

When it first arrived as bPay it was something pretty great; Google Pay hadn’t arrived in the UK and the devices were available from Amazon and very high quality.

Pingit then bodges bPay into it, a few features lost such as being able to use bPay on a PC and auto top ups was missing for MONTHS.

I have used the bands in the past and Dad does almost religiously (I dread telling him it’s being phased out in the morning, as his phone doesn’t have NFC.) I’ve found the new silicone based bands very poor quality compared to the old plastic and silicone mix ones.

Overall Barclays pipped Google to the post and could have done quite a few interesting and innovative things with bPay/Pingit first but simply stagnated. I’m wondering if they had took some chances and been more agile if they could have made this work?

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When did bPay launch then?

I know Apple Pay was announced in September 2014, but didn’t launch in the U.K. until July 2015.

bPay was before that, right?

2015 odd, I can’t find too much but it was before Google Pay was announced in the UK.

I think Apple Pay was around in the UK at the time but I don’t remember?

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OK - well that explains why I have never used it then!

I have been an Apple Pay user since day 1, so was probably already using that.

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It was a 2014 launch according to Finextra, but probably after Apple Pay had been announced so I must have been waiting for that already.

https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/33481/barclays-to-merge-bpay-and-pingit-apps

Edit: But then other articles claim it was initially being “trialled” before a 2015 launch?

These were around in some kind of beta before Apple Pay! It was either Barclaycard or pingit (don’t remember which), but I had one! Still do somewhere!

I also had one of those Barclaycard phone stickers stuck to the back of (i think) my iPhone 4s at the time!

They were fun whilst it lasted, but I don’t think any will have ever gone on beyond being a gimmick, besides perhaps the key fob/ sticker, and I think they would still be useful things to provide customers now too, but Apple Pay usurped this ecosystem for sure, as much as Barclays didn’t want to get on board, the customer push back sealed their fate I think.

They were essentially just the contactless part of a credit card in different things. I still think they’re cool concepts still worth exploring, especially with contactless limits rising again. Or maybe not if the future of payments is almost certainly aligned with mobiles and watches.

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