From the Apple Watch to contactless Guinness at Twickenham Stadium – the wearable payments trend is heating up

Last updated: 14 November 2019

Roland Banks, from Mobile Industry Review, published a post on why The Wearables boom is all about the wrist – this caught our eye as Roland pointed out how research firm IDC has predicted wristwear to be the spearhead of the boom. You can see this clearly in the infographic below as over 100 million units of wristwear shipments are on course for 2019, which bodes well for Apple Watch and its competition.


But is this a sensible forecast? To us, it is as we’ve been spotting this trend for a while now.  Wearable payments could prove to be the most useful feature of these devices, with Apple Pay ready to take maximum advantage. They are already proving successful for many different companies, events, transport systems, and banks, and are now popping up all over the place.

In particular, the biggest development in convenience has been for paying through a contactless payment with your wrist wearable. For example, our own Optelio Contactless MiniTag is now being used, in partnership with CaixaBank in Spain, to enable customers to leave their home without their wallets. As demonstrated in the picture below, one day, as this technology becomes more widespread, you’ll be able to just rely on a handy (or perhaps ‘wristy’) wristwatch/band for all your payment needs.

The evolution of wristbands and watches has also been a brilliant step forward, not only for banks, but for festivals and sporting events as well. As we posted last year, the summer time is indeed festival season, but also ‘contactless festival season’.

And it doesn’t stop there; contactless wristbands are also entering the world of Rugby. Guinness-branded RFU contactless wristbands were trialled at England’s Six Nations matches in March this year, with great success. As Business Computing World reported recently, using the bands, fans were able to speed through the normally tediously long half time queues and pay securely and easily with just a simple tap of their wrist at any given terminal within in the now fully contactless Twickenham Stadium. It’s now just a matter of time until other sports with giant stadia catch on and start employing the same technology. Perhaps, as the NFL continues to utilise the Internet of Things more, we’ll see stadiums in the US become fully contactless.

What do you think? Will more sports and festivals embrace this technology?  And do you agree with IDC’s predictions of wristwear becoming the dominant form of wearable? Let us know by tweeting to us @Gemalto.


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