13 March - James Luck

Wearables with contactless technology.


Most of us will be aware there are numerous payment services on a variety of watches. 
Any watch that uses Wear OS uses Google/Samsung pay - Fossil, Tag Heuer, Michael Kors, Kate Spade, Movado, Emporio Armani, and then there’s the Apple Watch which just exceeded 100m total sales this year.
‘Wearables’ is fast becoming a thing and this market is the one to ‘watch’
The Stiss crystal Winwatch was launched in 2020 with contactless tech embedded in the glass and patents able to allow connectivity from within the metal case. It is hoped exclusive traditional watch makers like Rolex and Omega could design existing models to accept such tech.
Enabling the payments system into the glass seems a better solution than incorporating into NFC wristbands or watering down the brand by developing a non trad ‘Smart Watch’

This connected technology market almost always offers contactless payment apps to pay with contactless ( although the Under Armour’s connected running shoes are not really suited for tap and go !) 

A continuous stream of new developments coming to market now see PRADA teaming with AMEX to produce a stylish bracelet with the invite only, Centurion card. This exclusive product has a chip ‘buried’ in a Saffiano leather strap bracelet . Presumably its the art of cool - to pay via PRADA than with a mundane credit card or Apple Watch.

There are more affordable bracelets too - 
Torvi Sorga offer bracelets and fobs https://www.tovisorga.com/pages/how-do-contactless-payment-devices-work
As do K Pay - 
The beauty of these devices is you can set up auto top ups like the ‘old fashioned’ Oystercard, by linking to your debit card. No charging or mobile phone is needed….
They are also waterproof.

A number of manufacturers are dabbling in connected Rings - like the Oura and McLear. Many are Crowfunded businesses and there are more coming to the market.
These rings offer full health monitoring services and many also offer contactless payment technology.

In India Axis Bank ( third largest private client bank)has just announced it is launching wearable technology to push contactless to its clients. Bands, key chain or Watch loop, are available to promote contactless purchasing .
 “Contactless payments are the future of the payments industry in India,” says Axis Bank’s Sanjeev Moghe, EVP, head of cards and payments,“
“To tap into this market, our Wear ‘N’ Pay program brings convenience to contactless payments at a budget-friendly price point, offering a safe and secure mode of payments on the go.”   www.axisbank.com/wearnpay.

The wearables market is flagged as being worth $64 billion by 2024 in a report by Global Data and is specifically prominent due to the growth in accurate health apps, especially with the onset of the covid pandemic. The contactless payment benefits are more than a handy by-product of this keen consumer focus.

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