UAE Exchange & Oberthur Technologies Create Contactless Payment Wearable Device
The wearables industry; that’s connected Internet of Things devices that you can wear, e.g. Google Glass, FitBit, or Snapchat spectacles; has not taken off in the way that many analysts predicted.
But it seems the payments industry has not given up on the idea; having successfully developed contactless payments, financial technologists are now considering bypassing the payment card, and even the smartphone, to create payments devices that can be worn as part of a key chain, jewellery, watch or wristbands – or any other fashion item you can think of.
UAE Exchange, a leading global remittance, foreign exchange and payment solutions service provider, in partnership with Oberthur Technologies (OT), announced last week at the Seamless Middle East Conference in Dubai, the launch of a “gocash” prepaid card that they say is the first ever contactless payment via wearables device.
The “card” is powered by OT’s Flybuy MiniFOB technology – and it is just 15 x 25mmm in size – dimension 2FF SIM-size, to be precise.
It comes with an antenna and chip with full payment functionality, using Mastercard contactless functionality, and is provided with a complementary piece or “keeper”, as well as a standard Dual Interface gocash card – that will hold the MiniFOB chip.
The chip can be inserted into a leather wristband, key chain, fitness tracker, watches etc. etc.
UAE Exchange say they will be offering the wearable contactless payment solution to 100 specially selected gocash prepaid card customers across the United Arab Emirates, each loaded with a 100 AED balance.
OT is a leading provider of embedded security software products and services, and is recognised as an award-winning innovator in the payments sector. Cedric Collomb, the Head of Global Offer & Indirect Sales of Financial Services Institutions activity at the firm, commented:
“The global market of wearables is nascent and has huge growth potential over the coming years. We are glad to partner with UAE Exchange, which shares our progressive vision of bringing value to the table, which will enhance customer experience.”
UAE Exchange Group CEO Promoth Manghat commented:
“Contactless payment through wearable devices is soon going to be a common practice. It will simplify the entire payment journey and experience as it offers customers hands-free convenience while saving time.”
UAE Exchange, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, has opened nearly 800 branches across 31 countries in 5 continents, has developed correspondent banking relationships with more than 140 banks worldwide, and has 9,000 staff, from 40+ nationalities, servicing its 15m customers worldwide.
According to Let’s Talk Payments more than 250 million smart wearable devices will be in use by 2018, a 14 fold increase on the number of devices in 2013; contactless payments are expected to grow from a $35 billion market in 2015 to a $95 billion one in 2018.
Wearable payments are anticipated to overtake plastic cards as a form of payment within 5-7 years, with estimates suggesting that wearable payment transaction volumes could grow from $3.1bn (2015) to as high as $501bn worldwide by 2020; 20% of the total mobile proximity payment volumes, or 1% of all cashless transactions.
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The numbers can seem head-spinning, and whilst the wearables market has experienced a number of false starts, it seems very possible that wearable contactless payments will achieve these numbers, and possibly even outstrip them.
Of one thing we have little doubt; the financial services industry, as we know it, will be unrecognisable by the turn of the next decade.