UK gets first contactless payments wristwatch


A new wristwatch that enables users to make contactless payments has been launched -- the first such product to hit the UK market.

Watch2pay is the product of an innovative collaboration between watchmaker LAKS, card issuer Vincento and credit card provider MasterCard. Consumers can use the watch to make fast, secure payments of up to £15 within a matter of seconds, without even getting out their wallet.


Watch2pay is a UK first
Contactless wristwatches are already available in some Asian countries, as well as Turkey and Poland, but Watch2pay represents the first such device in the UK.

MasterCard, LAKS and Vincento have worked together on the prepaid contactless wristwatch, which should allow consumers to enjoy greater convenience and speed at the check-out. It comes with a MasterCard prepaid card, which is reloadable and valid for up to two years.

Users of the new wristwatch will be able to pay for goods up to the value of £15 simply by holding their wristwatch against a contactless reader, without even having to enter their pin.

More than 70,000 UK retailers already support contactless payments, which means the device can be used in a wide range of stores.

Device combines convenience with budgeting
Experts believe the new wristwatch will prove popular in the UK, as it supports two of the current trends. Contactless payments are rapidly being adopted by consumers and retailers, while a growing number of people are using prepaid cards as a budgeting tool.

Matt Lanford, head of prepaid at MasterCard Europe, revealed that nearly 100m PayPass contactless cards and devices have been issued globally since the introduction of contactless nearly 10 years ago. "We're maintaining that momentum by working with Vincento and LAKS to bring together prepaid and contactless payments in a wristwatch for the very first time in the UK, offering consumers a safe, simple and smart way to pay for everyday items," he said.

Suresh Vaghjiani, head of product at Vincento, noted: "The new Watch2pay PayPass watch has an online account management facility, which can help consumers keep track of their everyday spending. These wristwatches also offer a number of great benefits to retailers, such as fast transaction times which equate to shorter queues -- ideal for environments where speed is essential."

See related: Wristbands enable contactless payments at festival; Britons anticipate cash-free future

Published: 8 December 2011