Barclaycard has signed up one the UK’s biggest
venue groups as part of its marketing drive to grow its contactless
terminals distribution network.

The acquiring arm of the British lender has
signed a five-year deal with NEC Group, making Barclaycard the
official payment partner of The Ticket Factory, the LG Arena, the
National Exhibition Centre (NEC) and National Indoor Arena

After a refurbishment phase set to finish by
2014, the NIA, which is the city centre venue of the UK’s second
largest city Birmingham, will be called NIA, A Barclaycard Unwind

Initially, Barclaycard will implement
contactless POS devices at food and beverage merchants inside the
venues, although some will also be deployed at the box offices,
said head of experiential marketing and partnerships at
Barclaycard, Dan Mathieson, told Cards International.

The number of terminals to be deployed is
“still to be decided”, Mathieson said.

Neither is it clear yet when the terminals
will be implemented, but Mathieson said the implementation of the
POS terminals was not linked to the refurbishment of NIA.

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He added that Barclaycard was in “regular
conversations” with NEC Group and that they were discussing
extending the contactless technology to mobile payments as
Barclaycard has already got a partnership with Orange.


Next stage: contactless ticketing, access

The next stage of the contactless payment deal
“will be ticketing and access control,” he said.

Barclaycard will offer exclusive offers, such
as tickets, access to customer lounges and fast track entrances at
the NEC Group’s venues for its Barclaycard Unwind rewards programme

“Contactless does play a key role in our
acquiring relationship. It was an easy conversion, NEC Group is
interested in innovation and contactless technology is an obvious
opportunity to work together,” he said.

“From a marketing perspective, payment
innovation was a key element of the conversions – whether that is
online, mobile or contactless. Having a national arena allows us to
create this payment innovation centre and showcase new payment

Mathieson added that contactless technology
“makes sense in the venue space because time is of essence”.

Barclaycard has a track record in the music
and entertainment industry, including Barclaycard Mercury Prize and
Barclaycard Wireless Festival and Wembley Arena.

Barclaycard had 23.5m customers and 87,000
merchant relationships as of February 2012. 56,000 stores have got
contactless payment terminals.

Barclaycard has got 15.3m contactless-enabled
Barclaycard and Barclays debit cards