Wearable payment technology 2023 round up
If you’re interested in wearable payment technology then you’ve come to the right place. Check out 10 of the most interesting wearable payment devices that you could invest in this year.
Contactless payments are growing exponentially, and now lots of companies are exploring the different items we can use to conduct these contactless payments. The aim for all the best payment wearables is to offer a seamless user experience, making payments quicker and waving goodbye to the days of fumbling around for a card in your bag/wallet/pocket.
Wearable payment tech tends to fall into one of two categories. It will either be RFID (radio frequency identification) or NFC (near field communication). Both of these fall into the group of contactless technologies.
RFID makes use of radio waves to take payments and has been around since the 1980’s. An RFID system includes a tag, reader and antenna. It works by generating a magnetic field. Data will be transmitted to the reader whenever the tag is triggered by a RFID reader.
NFC stands for near field communication, meaning communication that can happen wirelessly between devices if they are within a short range of each other. This is what most smartphones will be using. It is a developed version of RFID technology and can transmit data as a faster rate, though it works on a shorter range.
Read on to see 10 wearable payment devices to look out for this year. Some have been established for a while, and some are new kids on the block.
1. Fitbit Versa 4
‘Navigate, pay and stay in touch all day’
Fitbits are not only strong fitness trackers but also an established competitor in the wearable payments market. A nice feature of this one is that you can use multiple cards. We also love that there are so many different styles available. There is both a watch and a tracker version available, all varying in price.
2. Cashcuff shirts
Claims to be the ‘World’s first payment shirt’. With some pretty wacky designs available, see ‘space invader shirt’ this is likely to be one that divides opinions. It looks like it’s one of the buttons that actually makes payments, powered via an NFC chip.
‘With a CashCuff® shirt customers have one less thing to worry about, they have money available on-demand, no wallet…no phone…no problem’. Bespoke tailoring service available.
3. Tag Heuer Connected
Possibly the most stylish option in our list, definitely the most premium. The payment function of Connected watches is powered by Google Pay and available for select countries and bank partners. The new TAG Heuer Connected Smartwatch Calibre E4 Edition ‘boasts smart wearable technology and exceptional savoir-faire for an iconic design and maximum comfort’.
4. RingPay from Mclear
‘Make payments by simply tapping your hand’. This ring has some impressive benefits, from being able to transfer funds between rings, auto top-up, a freeze function to rewards when you buy from participating retailers. Available for both iOS and Android. Currently only available in black or white. More colour/material options must be a natural progression for this product.
This one comes from LAKS PAY. Keychains available in a variety of designs. Unlike paying with your smartphone or smartwatch, the fob never needs to be charged so you don’t have to worry about running out of battery. Presumably you would still need to get it out of the pocket or bag every time you need to pay though.
6. K Ring Powered by Mastercard
Claiming to be the world’s first contactless payment ring and accepted at over 40 million retailers worldwide. ‘Free to load and free to use’. We like that you can choose both the interior and exterior colour on this one. K Ring draws its power from the contactless payment terminal during a transaction so, unlike smart watches and phones, it’ll never run out of power.
7. Apple Watch Series 8
One of the better-known items in wearable payment technology. Accepting payments is of course just one feature of this watch, which is powered by Apple and linked to your iPhone. A big benefit of this one is the easy set up if you’re already an apple user. Access is available to thousands of apps on the app store. We like the ‘bright, Always-On retina display’.
8. Samsung Galaxy Watch5 Pro
The android alternative to the Apple watch. The great thing about this one is that it is accepted almost anywhere, as it will work with magnetic strip readers as well as near field communications (NFC). It’s a more traditional looking watch than the Apple Series 8.
Another one from LAKS Pay. This one is, you guessed it, a cap. It also comes with a bracelet so you can move your payment chip between the two. I would be slightly concerned about losing the small chip, or even the whole cap which you would need to take off and aim at the payment machine. It does however work without a smartphone and doesn’t need charging. Also, a far more accessible price point than some of our other wearables.
10. Payment implant
Claiming to be the ‘wallet of tomorrow’, Walletmor offers a payment chip that can be implanted into your arm, so you can literally pay with a flick of the wrist (watch on YouTube here). Certainly the most ‘out there’ option on the list, we don’t see widespread adoption happening soon. It is however interesting to see the different directions the wearables market is headed in.
The growing popularity of wearable devices of course means a demand in payments acceptance for these devices. Follow us on LinkedIn for more industry news.