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Barclays said it will be the country’s first bank to introduce an in-house contactless payment service for credit and debit cardholders with Android smartphones.

Earlier this month, Google announced that some leading UK banks will support Android Pay when it comes to the country in a few months time. They included HSBC, Lloyds Bank and Nationwide Building Society, but Barclays was conspicuous by its absence. Now we know why.

Separately, the bank was a slow coach on adopting Apple Pay too, which it did eventually under pressure from users. But the debut was months after Apple’s arrival last summer.

The bank added its new contactless payment feature to its existing banking app, enabling credit and debit card payments via NFC-based smartphones. The feature will go live in June.

The feature, called somewhat unoriginally Contactless Mobile, will be available as part of a wider update to the Barclays Mobile Banking App.

The bank is adding the feature to its app by using Host Card Emulation technology, which enables NFC capability to be added without requiring access to the secure element on a handset.

When users open the updated app, they will be able to detect whether they are eligible for Contactless Mobile. They must have a compatible, NFC-enabled smartphone running Android Kit Kat or later, as well as an eligible Barclays debit card or Barclaycard credit card.

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