Payments Companies want you to wear them everywhere

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the big payments players announced plans to not only live in your phone and watch but in anything and everything of yours that can connect to the internet. What you wear, what you drive and where you keep your milk could all be used as payment devices. Visa’s program “Visa Ready” will initially be focused on wearables and cars. It has signed up partners including Accenture, Coin, Giesecke & Devrient, Fit Pay, and Samsung who will work with manufacturing companies like Chronos and Pebble to embed payments in consumer devices. MasterCard is working with a company called Wise Key to put payment technology into fashion products such as bags and watches. In January Mastercard also teamed up with Coin to to add its miniaturized payment technology to just about any type of item, including refrigerators. As puts it points out “You can buy a handbag with the handbag you already have”.

If wearables is just a passing fancy, then why is Research firm Gartner forecasting that up to half of consumers in major markets will be using a combination of smartphones and wearables to make payments by 2018? According to a MasterCard Safety and Security Survey conducted in May 2015, 77 percent of consumers believe new technologies in the payments sector are having an overall positive impact on personal security. Nymi is an example of a smart wristband that lets the wearer authenticate themselves in multiple environments using biometrics. The owner can unlock services using their unique heartbeat; it vibrates and lights up to confirm id. No more passwords and PINs. We already know that consumers like to use the internet to help make purchasing easier and save time . While device as id is a new concept, imagine the convenience for customers who can research their purchase, securely identify themselves and finally pay for their purchase with one mobile device. A device that may just be fashionable as well…

Siobhan O’Shea is a freelance writer. She writes about pretty much everything but especially likes to bring readers’ attention to new tech, marketing, human behavior, and other oddities.