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Contactless payment wearables now available worldwide thanks to Thales technology

Immersed as we are in the third decade of the 21st century, certain technologies are becoming indispensable for the comfort and quality of life of the everyday citizen. Among all of them, the wearable (small, portable devices that we carry with us and that have different applications), whose take off began in 2014, and those related to contactless payment, which has accelerated significantly with the arrival of the pandemic and the consequent social distance, stand out.

Now, the technology that combines these two systems, wearable and contactless payment, is already in place. This makes contactless payment methods secure and very convenient through bracelets, rings, watches, key rings or even sunglasses. In just under a year, this payment method has multiplied dramatically. Matthias Gelze, Field Marketing Analyst at Thales Group, explains: "Recent research by Strategy Analytics highlights the strong trend towards wearables, with sales of more than 500 million units by 2020, an increase of 37% compared to 2019".

This trend does not end here, as Gelze states: "More and more payment is being incorporated into these devices because of their ease of use and the fact that they are always available". He continues: "A report by ABI Research - experts in digital transformation - forecasts sales of wearables with payment functionality worth 7.2 billion Euros in 2024; and estimates the issuance in the market of 35 million 'passive' wearables that incorporate the equivalent of a contactless payment card without the need to charge batteries or connect to the network."

Our country will not be an exception: "Users in Spain love the simplicity of using an everyday object such as a bracelet or a watch to pay any amount in contactless mode, without depending on another device, something very convenient especially at the beach, doing sports or at the time of purchase, when we have to keep our hands free," says the Field Marketing Analyst.

As a leading multinational technology company, Thales is at the forefront of these portable and contactless payment systems. Matthias Gelze: "Thanks to Thales' technology and its ability to create miniature bank cards, we can implement payment functionality in a myriad of wearables. Our products have been implemented in bracelets and key fobs for some time now. And we have also integrated them into fashion or luxury supplements with brands such as Prada or ToviSorga; and watches with brands such as Timex, Titan or Vyvo. With tokenization (replacing the sensitive data of a bank card with a unique identification code), we are experiencing a second wave of passive wearables, due to the flexibility that allows fashion brands to work with different banks”.

 One such financial institution is Mumbai-based Axis Bank, for which Thales has provided security and connectivity technology integrated into Tappy Technologies handheld devices. This has resulted in an end-to-end payment solution.