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The Evolving Wearable Payment Landscape

2018-12-25 11:18 Tuesday

Most of the focus within the mobile payment industry has been on smartphones,but the market appears oversaturated. Instead, some tech giants have moved their attention to wearables, an area that has been dominated by smart watches, led by Apple.


Apple will allow students at Duke University, the University of Alabama, and other universities, to use their watches and iPhones to make school-related payments for laundry, books and other expenses.

In September, Google announced an update to its wearable operating platform, which allows for payments and other functions on smartwatches and other wearable devices.

With increasing demand for sophisticated applications, consumer interest in the wearable products has slowed. Global shipments of wearables rose only 1.2% in 2018. However, a growing number of market players are looking to expand the wearable market and embed smart chip technology into a wider range of wearable devices.

A startup based in Australia named Inamo launched a pilot program to test watches, key chains and other wearables in the U.S. Users can use Inamo to make payments anywhere that accepts contactless payments, including locations that accept Google or Apple Pay. Locations with the contactless MasterCard PayPass and square symbols can also accept Inamo Pay.

After completing successful internal tests in 2017, Amsterdam-based bank ABN Amro teamed up with Mastercard and Digiseq in January 2018 and launched a four-month pilot program, in which 500 customers signed up to test a range of contactless payment functions using wearables, including rings, bracelets and key rings.

The wearables utilized highly-regarded NFC technology that contains the same security standards as regular plastic cards. The bank is planning further expansion and is looking to open the wearable contactless payment system to all customers in 2019.

Infineon Technologies has introduced a program called the Secora Pay W for Smart Payment Accessories, which offers wearable contactless payment technology, with EMV-enabled bracelets, watches, key chains and rings.

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