July 22, 2014
There has been a digital disruption causing a dramatic change in the function, purpose and design of payments channel in just over a decade. Wearable payments will be one of the ways customers do transactions. It is all about convenience and the speed of the transaction. Look at the number of wearable devices being launched on a faster pace with those from big names like Apple, Google, Motorola and Samsung.
At LetsTalkPayments, we have already talked about the prospect of wearable technology as a prospect for making payments. And today, we can surely say that it’s more than being a prospect with recent updates bringing in practical scenarios. Some of them are:-
PayPal & Android Wear
With the launch of Android Wear OS and SDK at Google I/O some time back, PayPal is leveraging this by coming up with PayPal app for devices. The Android Wear devices may include the recently announced Motorola Moto360 and LG’s G Watch. Once launched outside the developer community, the app will allow the user to check-in to pay at local stores, redeem offers, and receive payment notifications on-the-go.
PayPal & Samsung Galaxy
Here, PayPal is going for a new technology where Bluetooth Low Energy would be used to link beacons to Samsung Galaxy smart wearable. PayPal already has a dedicated app for Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 smart watch and the Gear Fit fitness band. The devices link to the PayPal beacons placed in-store. A user would receive notifications upon entering the store. Users can also check PayPyal balance and save offers from local businesses.
Wallaby for Pebble
Pebble Technology launched an app store last for its Pebble smartwatch and it did not took long for someone to bring in payment and financial service related app. Wallaby Financial Inc. introduced an app last month that enables users to access their Wallaby wallet to determine the best payment card to use as per situations.
Eaze for Google Glass
Eaze, an app for Google Glass currently in beta stage, uses voice and image recognition to activate the service and nodding head gesture to confirm and complete payments. The team behind Eaze started with Bitcoin integrating existing bitcoin wallets like Coinbase and plans to add currencies like dollar and euros. They also plan to integrate PayPal into Eaze in near future.
Payment via wearable technology is not just confined to smartwatches and eyewear. Barclays is keen on joining the rush by launching a wristband customers can use for contactless payments later this year. The product titled bPay would use contactless payment technology in Barclays’ credit and debit cards. Users would be able to make payments by scanning the bands across 300,000 UK terminals.
For now we’re seeing some interesting payment technology advancements in the field of wearable devices. As the number of connected devices soars, the possibility for wearable payment technology suddenly becomes a reality. Wearable technology is only likely to grow since the sudden expansion of the so-called Internet of Things is transforming the way we think about connectivity.
From 13 billion internet-connected devices in 2013, there will be 50 billion in 2020, according to Cisco. This totally the changes the way we think about payments.