Image source: Fitbit

One-quarter of Europeans are ready to start paying with wearable devices

Nearly one-quarter or some 175 million Europeans are ready to start using contactless payments with wearable devices according to new research from MasterCard.

A number of smartwatches, smart rings and other wearables already support contactless payments. The competition is heating up and most major players are looking to offer their own individual payment platforms. Apple Pay and Google Pay were the first to move into this space. They are facing competition now from Fitbit Pay and most recently Garmin Pay.

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As concerns around fraud drop, Mastercard’s findings show that many Europeans are more than willing to explore new ways to pay. To this end, banks across Europe are working to deliver this new wave in contactless payments.

A great example is ABN Amro. The Dutch bank has started handing out rings last year with built-in NFC capability. Through this ring, customers can make payments anywhere in the world that displays the contactless MasterCard payment symbol. The device works all by itself, so you don’t need to pair it with a smartphone to make a payment.

The payments processing company is working with retailers across Europe to increase the number of retail locations accepting such payments. Currently, some 38% of all in-store transactions are contactless. But the company is also looking beyond Europe. Just last month, MasterCard has launched an initiative to make contactless payments a global standard in the next five years.

“Europe leads the world in contactless payments and its overwhelming success has created a demand for even greater convenience,” said Paolo Battiston, Executive Vice President Digital Payments & Labs Europe at Mastercard.

“Shoppers trust in contactless is greater than ever, and in turn it seems they are ready to take this one stage further by trying contactless through connected devices. Pilots like the one we’re involved with in The Netherlands will empower consumers in the digital economy.”

Source: MasterCard

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