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Wearable Payment: A New Battlefield for Financial Organizations and Technology Firms

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Published on : Jun 09, 2016

The global wearable payments market is in a nascent phase and most of the market players are experimenting with different functionalities of wearable payments. Apple has emerged as a frontrunner in the market with its payment-capable Apple Watch. However, it is not the only high-profile company in this space. Eat24’s smartwatch app offers to streamline repeat order purchases. Barclays’ bPay is one of the few examples of payment-only wearable devices. Though Apple has gained advantage with its first move in the wearable payments market, stiff competition and significant investments are expected to define the outlook of the market in the next couple of years.

Wearable payments are being introduced within the physical proximity of a merchant’s POS terminal. In terms of consumer demand, a sizable number of consumers are not convinced about the benefits of wearable payments. Around 25% of consumers across the globe own a wearable device. Features and price are the key factors driving the adoption of wearable payments among consumers. China has emerged as the most attractive market with a large number of potential early adopters.

Recent Developments in Wearable Payment Market

Lately, a number of interesting developments has been observed in the arable payment market worldwide. Fitbit has acquired a wearable payments platform developed by a startup firm Coin. The company is focusing on developing an active NFC solution that could be integrated in future Fitbit devices. For Olympics 2016 this summer, Visa is offering a wearable payment system for athletes. The wireless mobile payment system has been built in form of a ring. Each ring will be linked to a Visa account and can be used at contactless payment terminals.