Wearable tech gets cute (at last)

topshop bpay

What’s the biggest problem with ‘wearable’ technology? No, not the tech. It’s just not as wearable as it likes to think, especially when it comes to selling it to women.

You may be able to convince men something’s cool just because it’s got Bluetooth (yes, I know that statement was outrageously sexist and stereotypes half the world’s population, but I’m aiming for dramatic effect here so give me a break.)

Anyway, back to the message – for women, wearable tech has to be about more than the technology. Barclaycard seems to have got that message via a new deal with Topshop for a range of accessories that’s, well, really cute.

The Barclays’ bPay contactless payments system started launching clothing and accessories – such as the Lyle & Scott men’s Contactless Jacket – earlier this year but so far they’ve been pretty unexciting. Having teamed up with a major fashion retail name for the first time, it’s now got an ultra-affordable collection that ticks plenty of trend boxes. It taps into the Kidult theme and is loaded with juniors appeal. And if cute’snot your thing, Barclays and Topshop will launch a more upscale collection in metal and snake-effect before year-end.

All registered users have to do is put the bPay chip into the accessory and use it for contactless payments. The limit remains the standard contactless £30.

So what do you get for your £15 to £32? Twelve pieces including wristbands, phone cases, stickers and key chains. It’s a much cheaper way into wearable tech than buying an Apple Watch but I suppose there’s one drawback. It could be quite easy to forget that the cute sticker you left on the table in Nando’s isn’t just a sticker – it’s a way for the less-than-honest to digitally pick your pocket.

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