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Runway-Ready Designs Move Payments Wearables into Mainstream

The world of wearables with embedded payments tech is expanding from the practicality of watches and rings to embracing more types of jewelry catering to fashion-forward shoppers.

The latest news in this arena comes from UK-based wearable payments tech firm DIGISEQ, which is partnering with Dutch payments-enabled jewelry brand AdornPay to introduce stylish items with embedded payment to the Netherlands.

On Wednesday (Aug. 24), Fintech & Finance News reported that “DIGISEQ’s technology provisions the chip inside the wearable item with prepaid contactless functionality, ensuring that customer payments can be made speedily and securely in the same way that contactless card and NFC mobile payments are protected.”

Using DIGISEQ’s mobile app, consumers can register and activate their own items, but partners can also white label the solution, “effectively making it an invisible payments partner,” per the report.

AdornPay makes sustainable high-end fashion bracelets, pendants, key fobs and the like. On the news of the DIGISEQ deal, AdornPay Co-founder Virgilia de Graaff said, “Partnering with DIGISEQ was an easy decision to make, with the team sharing the AdornPay mindset that consumers should be given the complete freedom to choose how they want to pay.”

High fashion with embedded payments arguably began with a Lyle & Scott Ltd. jacket equipped with Barclaycard contactless payments back in 2015, as The Wall Street Journal reported last year. And while IDC said in June that global sales of payment-enabled wearables declined 3% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2022 to 105.3 million units, innovation continues.

See also: FIS’ Kresse Says Social, Wearables, Contextual Are The Future

Big Tech Pursues Wearable Payments

News site 9to5Google reported in August that Google appears to be bringing payments to its Fitbit wearables line, reading between the lines of recent FCC filings and early renders of the Fitbit Sense 2 and Versa 4, and saying that “from what we can piece together, the feature is still early in development, but it seems to indicate a direct connection between Fitbit Pay and Google Wallet. Our current suspicion is that rather than Google Wallet replacing Fitbit Pay on a current or upcoming device, you’ll instead be able to add Google Wallet to your ‘Fitbit Wallet.’”

Apple got out in front of wearable payments for 2022 in February, announcing Tap to Pay on iPhone, which can also be activated on the Apple Watch. In that announcement, Apple vice president of Apple Pay and Apple Wallet Jennifer Bailey said, collaboration with payment platforms, card networks and app developers is making it easier for businesses to accept contactless payments.

See also: Consumer Desire for Fitness, Better Sleep Drive Smartwatch Improvement

During its fiscal third-quarter earnings call in late July, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “We also announced Apple Pay Later, which gives customers more flexibility to make purchases with their Apple devices,” adding that “In the wearables, home, and accessories category, the innovation infused across our products continues to win over new customers.”

The Digital-First Banking Tracker®, a PYMNTS and NCR Corp. collaboration, noted that “Consumers have grown more open to trying new payment methods during the past year, and contactless payment tool use is skyrocketing. The rising popularity of mobile wallets and other touchless payment tools has also led individuals to consider how smartwatches, wristbands and other wearable technologies could benefit their payment or banking experiences.”



About: The findings in PYMNTS’ new study, “The Super App Shift: How Consumers Want To Save, Shop And Spend In The Connected Economy,” a collaboration with PayPal, analyzed the responses from 9,904 consumers in Australia, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. and showed strong demand for a single multifunctional super apps rather than using dozens of individuals ones.


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