Wearable Payments: A Gimmick That Might Take Off

by Sarah Grotta 0

wearables

As non-traditional POS payment solutions evolve, form factors that aren’t mobile phones may succeed where mobile payments have not.  At least not yet. Consumers are often on their phones while shopping and may not want to stop, log into an app, and make a payment.  They may be concerned about what data beyond the payment information could be taken from their phone at the point of sale.   A post in ZDNet suggests that wearable payments are ready to take off, at least in Australia where contactless technology rules. The article uses the example of a ring solution, Halo, offered by CBA-owned Bankwest, as evidence that easy and convenient wearable payments are possible. The acquisition process described suggests this is far from the convenience consumers are seeking:

You need to have the ring sized, so it’s a choice of either finding a branch outside of Western Australia — of which there are not too many — or waiting for a sizing kit to be sent out, sizing yourself, returning the kit and placing your order, then waiting for the ring to be mailed out.

The process was a bit more simple face-to-face, as I was sized on the spot and had my Halo ordered. After waiting the maximum 10 business days the ring arrived. After activating the device and selecting a PIN online, it could then be used. 

I recall in the early, early days of mobile payments having discussions with bankers about the viability of issuing mobile phones out of bank branches.  That didn’t fly either.

Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

Read the quoted story here