Most of the companies are previously looking past the mobile devices to find the next high-tech payment device. A few companies are also equipping fashion items with Near Field Communication chips and other technology that can be repurposed by the industry. PayPal has released apps for every major SmartWatch platform available today, and Disney reports rapid adoption of its payment-capable MagicBands, which also function as theme park passes and hotel keys.
While banks likely don’t need to have wearable payment apps in the market right now, it’s important to make wearable’s part of a long-term strategy in fact some banks are building their own wearable payments apps. In Canada, RBC is testing a wristband that uses a consumer’s heart rhythms to authenticate users. In Europe, CaixaBank and Barclays offer bracelets that can execute payments.
List of wearable items with payments potential as follows below:
Ring: NFC Ring and Smarty Ring are developing jewelry with wireless hardware built-in. Though the devices are in their infancy, some are already exploring their potential to make contactless payments.
Smartwatches: Some smartwatches, such as Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, use NFC chips to pair the watch with a user’s phone. Galaxy Gear doesn’t yet use NFC for payments, but it supports mobile commerce through apps. Apple and Google are also rumored to be developing their own smartwatches.
Wrist watch: Another approach to the payments watch comes from Watch2Pay. It doesn’t have the bells and whistles of a full-featured smartwatch, but it comes with a full-featured prepaid card that supports direct deposit, ATM withdrawals, mobile account access, bill payments and alerts.
Clip on NFC: Motorola now distributes Skip, a magnetic NFC clip meant to stick to users’ clothing. Right now the technology can be used to unlock some Motorola phones, but if it takes off, an NFC-embedded clip could see wider use in the payments industry and beyond.
Google Glass: Though still in limited release, Google Glass has turned heads at many payment companies. MasterCard is working to combine Google Glass with its MasterPass digital wallet. LevelUp, ZooZ and shopkick are also eyeing Google Glass for its payments potential. And RedBottle Design has already created a Google Glass app that allows users to spend bitcoins.
Disney MagicBands: Walt Disney Co. is ramping up its use of MagicBands, wristbands that facilitate payments and allow park patrons to access their hotel rooms and skip longer lines. The wristband concept has been tried before, and Hersheypark discontinued its version, but does Disney have the magic to make it work.