Fitbit Announced Move Towards Wearable Payments with Coin Purchase

by Ben Jackson 0

Fitness tracking company Fitbit Inc., announced May 18 that it had purchased contactless payments company Coin. The deal would give it the technology to include payments on its fitness devices, but the expanded capabilities would not come immediately.

Fitbit, Inc. (NYSE:FIT) the leader in the connected health and fitness market, today announced it has acquired wearable payment assets of Coin, a Silicon Valley consumer electronics and financial technology company. The deal includes key personnel and intellectual property specific to Coin’s wearables payment platform. While there are no plans to integrate Coin’s wearable payments technology into the 2016 Fitbit product roadmap, the acquisition accelerates Fitbit’s ability to develop an active NFC payment solution that could be embedded into future Fitbit devices, broadening its smart capabilities. The acquisition excludes smart payment products, such as Coin 2.0.

The move may be a good one for Fitbit’s future prospects. The company is in competition with other wearables, such as the Apple Watch that already offer payments. Also, while wearable payments have not yet taken off, there is some evidence that consumers have an interest in them. Mercator Advisory Group’s Customer Monitor Survey found that 53% of consumers surveyed in 2015 who have or plan to buy wearables consider payments an important function to have on them, up from 50% who said so in 2014.

Overview by Ben Jackson, Director, Prepaid Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group

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