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Brief Published: 23 Jan 2015

Wirecard: Payment Wristband

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Wirecard Smart Band wearable

German payments firm Wirecard has unveiled the Wirecard Smart Band – a wearable that allows users to purchase goods and services via their wrist.

The bracelet, launched in prototype form at the Digital Life Design (DLD) conference in Munich earlier this week, uses near-field communication (NFC) technology to transfer money via contactless payment stations.

Users load money onto the wristband via an accompanying app. The wearable uses host card emulation (HCE) technology – a new payment technology backed by Google, MasterCard and Visa – which converts credit card information into unique codes known as tokens. One token is used per transaction.

No card data is stored on the device and it can only hold 10 tokens at a time – so should the wristband be lost or stolen, the user's financial data is not at risk, a spokesperson for Wirecard told Stylus at DLD. "It's just as safe as a contactless card," he said.

Wirecard says the wearable is perfect for closed environments like cruise ships, hotels, theme parks and festivals. It could also be used as an admission band and be connected to mobile services such as loyalty schemes, the firm added.

The band also acts as a fitness tracker – presenting opportunities for tailored product offers based on a user's personal metrics. For example, a hotel offering a holiday fitness package could offer discounted services to users who achieve a certain number of steps per day.

Wearable tech is proving to be a disruptive influence on the payments industry. In December 2014, Barclaycard announced it was trialling wearable payment gloves to streamline the shopping experience.

Look out for further coverage of the DLD conference, which covers innovation, digitisation, science and culture, coming soon. In the meantime, take a look at Bite-Size Banking for more on how wearables are impacting the banking sector.

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