FinTech at CES: MasterCard, Coin, Rokos, Samsung and SoftBank Are Making Waves

The International Consumer Electronic Show, being held in Las Vegas from January 6 to 9 this year, has served as the proving ground for innovators and breakthrough technologies for more than 40 years. The International Consumer Electronics Show showcases more than 3,600 exhibiting companies, including manufacturers, developers and suppliers of consumer technology hardware, content, technology delivery systems and more; a conference program with more than 200 conference sessions and more than 150K attendees from 150 countries.

And because it is owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), a technology trade association representing the $285 billion US consumer technology industry, it attracts the world’s business leaders and pioneering thinkers to a forum where the industry’s most relevant issues are addressed.

This year, CES unveiled numerous exciting product launches; we are most interested in those related to FinTech, IoT, wearables and everything related to money.

Some interesting announcements were made by MasterCard, which presented Groceries by MasterCard, a new app that enables consumers to order groceries directly from Samsung’s new Family Hub refrigerator. The smart refrigerator will be available in the US in May this year. Groceries by MasterCard is the first shopping app to be integrated into a refrigerator. The app reinvents the way consumers shop for their groceries, allowing them to share, build, manage and modify their grocery lists and shopping carts throughout the week.

MasterCard unveiled its debut in the wearables industry by announcing a partnership with Coin to bring MasterCard payments to a wide array of fitness bands, smart watches and other wearable devices.

Samsung unveiled an accessory that can become troublesome for Apple Watch. In August 2015, Samsung presented its answer to Apple Watch—Samsung Gear S. This year at CES, Samsung upgraded it to 18-karat rose gold and platinum Gear S2, which—like the Apple Watch—is made of real gold and not just gold-colored. However, the most interesting part is that later this year, the company will add Samsung Pay support to Gear 2, making it a direct rival to both MasterCard-powered wearables and Apple Watch.

Moving from wearables and kitchens to even hotter topics, it is worth mentioning the Rokos Core, a disk image for Raspberry Pis which can turn a computer into a full bitcoin node to allow users to hold a bitcoin wallet and mine, send & receive bitcoin over the network. Rokos has a full graphic user interface not requiring specialized knowledge or preparing for playing around with bitcoin.

Another curious announcement came from SoftBank, a Japanese multinational telecommunications and Internet corporation. Well, it is not as much an announcement as it is a robot named Pepper. IBM and SoftBank Robotics Holdings Corp. announced plans to offer a version of open cognitive computing technology platform Watson for SoftBank Robotics' Pepper robots, aimed at global enterprise customers. As stated in the official press release, IBM and SBRH will tap into data and knowledge across the IoT to enable the Watson-powered Pepper to make sense of the hidden meaning in data that traditional computers cannot comprehend, including social media, video, images and text.

Even though the CES is not particularly about payments and FinTech, there are certainly interesting sections related to it. As the conference has not resumed yet, some exciting keynotes are still coming. For example, tomorrow, Indiegogo’s Sr. Director of Outreach Kate Drane will be speaking about crowdfunding as an important option for fueling new product launches and the ways to maximize the benefits of crowdfunding.

The LTP team is actively following the CES conference and looking out for FinTech to make some waves across industries. We will be updating the news on payments, IoT and FinTech as they come.