Thanks to Visa, Consumers May Soon Be Paying for Goods Using… Their Sunglasses?
The new era of payment processing is tap-as-you go. Whether it’s a card or a smartphone, we can safely say, paying for products and services has never been easier.
That may be why Visa is trying to step up their digital payment game. They recently partnered up with Ray-Ban to unveil a prototype of sunglasses that include a payment-enabled chip. This allows consumers to make a payment by tapping the accessory to an NFC-enabled point-of-sale terminal.
For Visa, this is simply another way they are able to maintain their brand promise to consumers of being ‘everywhere [they] want to be’. “Without [this invention] it’s hard for us to fulfill our tagline. Our view is: we take form factors that you don’t expect to be payment-enabled like sunglasses or maybe like a ring and expose to the market that maybe it can be,” explained Visa’s Chief Brand and Innovation Marketing Officer, Chris Curtin.
The pilot program was launched during the South by Southwest Festival and is currently being tested by various brands and banks to gauge interest before being released to the public.
Could wearable payments usher in the next era of smart fashion and mobile payments for tech-savvy consumers? We’ve already seen leather jackets embedded with digital tags that act as a VIP pass to exclusive spaces and events, why not extend this technology one step further?
BI Intelligence reports that in 2015, 19 percent of consumers expressed strong interest in connected device payments. “We forecast that there will be 24 billion connected devices installed globally by 2020, up from nearly 7 billion today. And over 5 billion of those are predicted to be consumer connected devices, representing a massive expansion of touch points that could eventually offer payments functionality.”
With the Internet of Things continuing to change the face of commerce, it’ll be interesting to see just how different the average consumer’s experience will be 1, 5, even 10 years from now.
What do you think? Are tap-to-pay sunglasses too much or too cool? Let us know down below!
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