Contactless Watches Are On The Way
Some of us are only just getting used to paying for things with contactless credit cards! Now it seems that contactless watches are on the way!
Barclays has a contactless payment service called “bPay“, which allows you to pay with, “your keys, your wrist, or just about anything – giving you choice over how you pay and making buying fun, fast and secure”. How exactly does that work…?
Well, for goods £30 and under, wherever you see the contactless symbol you can use a pre-paid bPay account that links to most major credit or debit cards. The trick to keeping fraud levels low is the phrase, “pre-paid”, which means you can only lose as much as is in the account. Apparently there are 400,000 locations in the UK currently accepting contactless payments.
bPay actually has their own online store where you can buy contactless items, from wrist bands and watches to keyrings and stickers! Each device you buy is valid for at least two years, then has to be replaced, so they’re naturally fairly low-cost items.
It seems that bPay wants to reach a wider audience, so has teamed up with watchmakers to offer “wearable payments” in watches and timepieces. The brands are GUESS watches, Mondaine, Timex, Kronaby, Suunto, ADEXE and LBS. This expansion builds on the success of the initial Fairfield Contactless watch created in partnership with Timex (shown, right).
To modify an existing watch, you can obtain a bPay payment chip, which looks like a bit like a SIM card, insert the chip into a loop, and slide the loop onto the strap of the watch…
From the press release…
The growing appetite for wearable payments
These agreements come as data from Barclaycard’s latest Contactless Spending Index shows that wearable payments are surging in popularity, as spending via bPay jumped 129 per cent year-on-year in 2017*. This spike in usage indicates not only an increased demand by consumers to pay quickly and easily, with ‘touch and go’ saving seven seconds per transaction compared to chip and PIN, but also a desire to opt for a contactless payment method which best suits their needs.
Adam Herson, Business Development Director, Barclays Mobile Payments said:
“Consumer appetite for wearable payments is reaching critical mass, and we’re proud to be meeting this growing demand with the help of our industry-leading partners. Thanks to the range of products these agreements will bring to market, customers will be able to buy a watch or fitness tracker that not only suits their taste, but also unlocks benefits of speed and ease in everyday purchases.
“Whether buying a bottle of water when out for a run, or a newspaper on an afternoon stroll around the city, today’s shoppers are looking for ‘built-in’, seamless payment experiences. Our game-changing, flexible bPay chip means we can transform any traditional timepiece into a smart device – without sacrificing style.”
This creates a whole new dimension for custom watches!