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Author Topic: BarclayCard PayBand NFC wristband, introduced for #WirelessFest - Closed loop  (Read 2534 times)
Stephen Gornick
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June 19, 2012, 07:30:32 PM
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BarclayCard PayBand is an NFC wristband to function as a "fast entry, cashless payments" method for use at events.



- http://www.barclaycardpayband.com/
- http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2174931/barclaycard-payband-bring-nfc-payments-wireless-festival

They are guaranteeing against loss from lost or stolen wristbands which is something I would presume they can easily do because no other merchants are walking around at the event with NFC readers.  At the end of the event the wristband is inactivated (purchases using it are no longer accepted) and any funds remaining on the wristband's wallet are swept to the customer's checking account.

I was trying to think if there was a way this same technology could be used where Bitcoin could fill this niche.  Or if there was some other approach that would work. 

I suppose a third party could accommodate this where bitcoins are sent to the address for the wristband and the transactions from there it had some non-bitcoin payments method (so that a lost or stolen wristband could be 'deactivated"), and after the event any unused funds are returned t the sending address (or a ticket printed with a QR code / paper bitcoin, to redeem using a mobile immediately or later redeemed online.

This would allow the wristband to be reused at future events, even with a different merchant.

The problem that PayBand solves is that you can show up to the event without carrying cash and to get access to the "fast service" lanes at the concessions.

The problem with PayBand is that you must have an account with BarclayCard to use it.  Using bitcoin to load funds means this can be offered by a party that isn't a bank.

I can see it being used at events or tourist destinations even, particularly with ones where you are active and carrying a physical wallet / purse are not convenient.

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June 20, 2012, 12:45:38 AM
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Im guessing an android client with nfc capability would be the closest match for this.


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July 02, 2012, 03:59:33 AM
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Im guessing an android client with nfc capability would be the closest match for this.

Looks to be so!

 - http://blog.codereadr.com/2012/05/10/nfc-authentication-goes-mobile-with-android-app/

Hmm .. Android 4.0 required.

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July 12, 2013, 06:23:17 PM
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This would allow the wristband to be reused at future events, even with a different merchant.

I can't help but think that there's a place for RFID wristbands in providing a wallet that is both convenient and provides financial privacy.

Here's Kashmir Hill's article on Disney using RFID wristbands:




 - http://www.forbes.com/sites/kashmirhill/2013/01/08/its-an-easily-tracked-world-after-all-disney-parks-are-getting-rfid-enabled-magicbands/
 - http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2013/01/taking-the-disney-guest-experience-to-the-next-level


Of course, those from Disney are not providing financial privacy but quite the opposite -- full personally identifiable tracking.

From just a little research on these, I've learned that the advantage of using these bands to the event operator is that they are a faster payment method than cash or card, and there is much less pilfering than occurs with cash transactions (which, with events that hire local, temporary help has been an issue in the past).   One advantage to the user is the ability to convert cash brought to the event into value stored on the wristband and then not have to carry any other electronics or cash (which would require a wallet, purse, side pack, etc.)

Here's one approach (if financial privacy isn't a factor):

Coinbase, a hybrid E-Wallet, now has "subscriptions".  This is essentially a pre-authorization (authorization for future spending).  

So then let's say I am going to Coachella music festival.  I sign up on their site and it sends me to a Coinbase login where I am asked to authorize a subscription allowing $100 per-day of charges against my Coachella wristband.  I don't actually need to have $100 worth of BTC in my account when authorizing this, I am simply giving Coachella my permission to pull up to $100 a day for purchases.

So I then click authorize and later on the wristband from Coachella arrives in the mail.  I confirm that I received it so that it can be used at Coachella.  Now I just make sure I have a sufficient amount of BTC funds at Coinbase and I can go to the event.   I don't need to bring an ID, smartphone, wallet, etc., ... I just wear my RFID wristband that Coachella sent to me.

If I lose the wristband, then if I have my smartphone I can then cancel the subscription or else I can notify Coachella who then will block any further purchase attempts for that wristband  (there are protections available to prevent griefers from cancelling other people's wristbands, like asking the amount of the authorization, or amounts of previous purchases maybe, etc.)    Adding more funds to a wristband (or getting a new wristband after losing one) will require bitcoins (at coinbase, or in some other wallet), or cash or good friends, so a wristband doesn't solve every problem for everyone.

But the above approach requires this subscription capability from a Coinbase or other E-Wallet provider -- and the event operator then knows my Coinbase e-mail address from my purchase.

What is interesting is the ability for the RFID code to simply be just one of keys for a multi-factor transaction authentication.   Perhaps instead of using a subscription service would be to take advantage of Bitcoin's ability to require M-of-N keys, or some solution using Shamir's secret sharing service from Vitalik Buterin's btckeysplit tool perhaps.  The RFID code, being a static value, is  something that is vulnerable to a replay attack and that limits its usefulness.  A TOTP code, like a Yubikey wristband, might be more useful but then it is no longer a $4 device.

The problem being solved is that today these wristbands work fantastically as a "wallet" for events, but they are not offered at many events (as a wallet).  Presumably this is for the same reason as any other financial innovation gets blocked ... regulatory capture of the payments industry through money transmitter laws.

But Bitcoin provides a path where this concept (wristband wallets) could become used.

Thoughts?

Stephen Gornick
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October 15, 2015, 01:48:53 PM
 #5

The Kerv contactless (NFC) payment ring just got funded on Kickstarter: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/philipcampbell/kerv-the-worlds-first-contactless-payment-ring

A Kerv prepaid account is needed and works like a custodial wallet. You load funds from your bank or debit card (or credit card & PayPal even ... for a fee), and spend with a swipe at a merchant that accepts payment via NFC (this is essentially processed as a Mastercard debit card transaction, apparently). http://kerv.com/kervopedia/the-kerv-account

The per-transaction limits are fairly small -- $25 USD, $25 EUR, $100 CAD.

The Kerv founder (@FD_Phil on Twitter) is aware of bitcoin: http://twitter.com/FD_Phil/status/616940744364834816

And the company invites the public to ask the founder about any questions: http://twitter.com/KervLife/status/654630502515740672

So, ... let's let @FD_Phil know that Bitcoiners would love it if Bitcoin could become one of the methods for loading funds, and/or become one of the cash-out methods.

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