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Payment In Wearables... Are consumers ready?

This entry was posted on 21st March 2018.

Do you believe contactless payment is only available in cards and mobile devices? You’re not alone, however, the world of contactless payment is changing, and you could soon be walking into a shop and paying with something you wear. Now, payment is widely used in watches, rings, bracelets and even fobs, hence the name 'payment in wearables'. I know, remarkable right? This year’s Winter Olympics even had payment in gloves and promotional pins! How long until we have payment chips in our arms?


Most importantly, are the public ready for contactless payments in wearables? With large attacks on sizable organisations quite regularly spread over social media and news channels, do people worry it’s another way of hackers getting their details? Is the older generation going to get their head around not using physical money every day? After all debit and credit cards were only introduced in 1987 with Barclays being the first bank to take us into today’s norm!


Well, a recent study by Mastercard showed that more than a quarter of Brits are ready to make the change to contactless payment, using wearable devices. This payment giant surveyed more than 50,000 people, over nine countries in Europe to establish interest in making contactless payments using smart watches, bracelets and rings – 26% of the UK respondents said they were ready to make the switch. 36% of purchases in UK stores are already being made contactless, showing consumers are trusting contactless payments more and more every day. This indicates that contactless payment is being well adopted in the UK and the switch to wearables may not be that big of a change at all!


With so many people open and excited about payment in wearables we believe that the public is ready and so does MasterCard, who has now partnered with Digiseq! Digiseq is a payment enabler who are able to integrate payment into almost anything, so, here at Universal Smart Cards, we have partnered with them to offer a complete solution!  Wearables are the future in our eyes, it is less likely you will lose a ring or a watch that is attached to you than a card or phone. This makes the possibility of loss and fraud a lot less common, keeping your banking safer.


The UK and Europe are definitely at the forefront of technology, especially as America is still using magnetic stripe cards and signatures for payments at most retail stores, restaurants and other establishments. Magnetic stripe technology and paying with a signature is hardly even remembered by young people in the UK and Europe as we have been using chip and pin for years along with contactless cards too!


Contactless payment in wearables is on the rise and is set to continue increasing not only in Europe but worldwide, research predicts contactless payments will outnumber cash payments by the end of 2018. They are so convenient; forgot your wallet? Not a problem I’m sure you will be wearing your ring. Going for a run, pay for a coffee on the way home with your gloves.


Furthermore, wearables are not just useful, they are also becoming fashionable, with a range of great designs! For example, Kerv has created some stunning ring designs, that would look great on anyone. Jason Bradbury, presenter of The Gadget Show, on Channel 5 recently purchased one to be his wedding ring! The Apple watch is also attractively designed and already very popular. Moreover, Topshop now has payment in one of their coats, screen cases, key rings and even sunglasses. So, don’t be put off if you can only imagine a bulky piece of tech on your arm.


Payment in wearables will change the way we live with the convenience of them being, well anything… payment in anything! Will you be buying a wearable this year? Let us know in the comments section what you have your eye on.

For more information on wearables and how we can help implement payment in wearable items, get in touch via our live chat on our website, email at [email protected] or call us on 0333 700 0078.

References - Survey data taken from MasterCard Newsroom.

This entry was posted on Universal Smart Cards Blog.

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Posted by Josh Coulson

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