Royal Bank of Canada says that wearable payment devices will need to be linked to more than one account in order to be useful for consumers, according to an article in PaymentsSource.
Though these devices are little different than the contactless cards and keyfobs many banks have issued in past years, they betray a fundamental rule of customer service:
“[If] it’s only one thing, it violates our principle of consumer choice,” said Jeremy Bornstein, head of payments innovation for RBC, during a presentation at SourceMedia’s annual Card Forum and Expo, taking place this week in Chicago.
RBC may be a little ahead of the game when it comes to wearables. The average shopper and store clerk still needs to become accustom to the idea and process of paying with a contactless chip. It may be that wearables will ride the wave behind mobile, but for the near future, they will be most effective in well-defined contexts such as amusement parks, campus, and transit systems. The other struggle that wearables face is that they need to effectively combine fashion and function, which is highlighted by the many price points surrounded by the different versions of the Apple watch.
For a deeper discussion on the future of wearable payments, please see Mercator Advisory Group’s report: The Future Is Not in the Cards: Will ‘Wearable Payments’ Replace Wallets?
Overview by Ben Jackson, Director, Prepaid Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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