The world of finance and payments is undergoing some significant changes. Financial institutions are trying to bring new payment solutions to the table over the past few years. As it turns out, there are quite a few different wearable devices that may replace cash, bank card, and even mobile payments in the future. It remains unclear if any of these concepts will gain sufficient mainstream traction, though.
5. Disney’s Magicband
It is anything but surprising to see the terms “Disney” and “magic” in the same sentence. Interestingly enough, the magicband is a wearable device that allows users to complete payments. Although this device only works within the Disney facility right now, it is still an intriguing concept. It also serves as an authentication method to enter parks and unlock hotel rooms. If this technology can be expanded to other services and functionalities, a lot of people may start using the magicband moving forward.
4. The Jawbone UP4
Most people know the line of Jawbone devices as fitness trackers, which they are. However, the company has developed a different product when it comes to the UP4. It is still a wearable fitness tracker but it is also capable of conducting contactless payments through Near Field Communication. Unfortunately, the device only supports AMEX transactions for the time being, though we can only hope other card issuers get on board in the future. Combining fitness trackers with payment solutions makes a lot of sense, though.
3. Ring of Things
Israel-based OTI launched their Ring of Things at the end of 2016. The company feels this silver ring will shake up the financial sector, even though that is not the only purpose of this wearable. It contains IoT technologies and can send smartphone modifications. Integrating contactless payments is made possible through the PayEnable platform, which allows users to fund their Ring of Things with traditional payment methods.
2. bPay jacket
Making payments with a jacket sounds like something that belongs in a sci-fi movie, but it is a very real trend in the United Kingdom right now. This new product, developed by Barclaycard and Lyle & Scott, allows users to complete contactless payments with their bPay jacket. A contactless payment chip is embedded in the cuff of the jacket’s right sleeve, enabling payments of up to 30 GBP.
Embedding payment chips within wearables is a great concept, even though most of these gadgets will never gain mainstream traction. The bPay jacket could be the exception to this rule, as everyone needs a good jacket in their life. Moreover, it is priced fairly at 1550 GBP, although that price is expected to come down in the future. An interesting concept, although it is still a niche product.
If it is up to Visa, the future of contactless payments lies within a pair of sunglasses. A new pilot program will be launched to test contactless payment-enabled sunglasses on a large scale. Unfortunately, users will need to take off the glasses before they can make a payment, which is not that convenient. Not much information about this project is known so far, yet it piques a lot of people’s interest for sure.
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