There's two big things going on in the UK this week: first, the limit for buying stuff with a contactless card has gone up to £30. And second, it's absolutely chucking it down. But fear not, slightly soggy tech fans, as we've got you covered on both scores with a bPay contactless chip that comes built into a Lyle and Scott raincoat.
You can make a contactless payment by tapping your bank card to a card reader so the till can read the contactless chip. This completes the transaction wirelessly and saves you typing in your PIN. Until now, the limit was £20 to stop wrong'uns from taking advantage of the fact they didn't need to know your PIN to use your card, but that limit has now been bumped to £30.
Although it's often found in credit and debit cards, a contactless chip can be put in anything: bPay offers athat can be swiped on tills to pay without a PIN. And now you can put the chip in a special pocket in the limited edition hooded coat (available in blue or black) from iconic British brand Lyle and Scott.
The cuffs of the jacket have a tidy button-up strap, and inside the right strap is a tiny pocket that seals up with velcro. That's where you pop the chip, nestled securely in the little pocket so all you have to do is hold your wrist to the card reader to pay.
I tried out the contactless coat, and I'm pleased to report that it's just the ticket for both paying for things and beating Britain's current unseasonably soggy weather. That isn't me in the pictures, by the way, although I do look basically the same (plus a few pub lunches on top).
A subtle contactless airwave symbol on the right cuff is the only outward indication that this is anything other than another sleek piece from Lyle and Scott. Established in 1874 and originally known for its golfing gear, the brand and its signature golden eagle have more recently adopted by sharp dressers as a heritage brand in the style of Fred Perry or Ben Sherman.
Now, you may be thinking that any item of clothing can become contactless as long as there's somewhere to put the chip -- and you'd be right. At last, a use for that little pocket in the pocket of your jeans!
Although bPay is a service run by Barclaycard, you don't need to be a Barclaycard or Barclays customer to take advantage. Once you have a bPay wristband, key fob or chip, you can load it up with money from any bank account and away you go.
The contactless coat will be on sale from today at the Lyle and Scott flagship store on Carnaby Street, London, and online at lyleandscott.com. The new £30 contactless limit comes in this week, but not all tills will be updated so for the next two weeks some shops may still stick with the £20 limit.