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Samsung unveils smartwatch that consumers can use to pay for products

September 5, 2013

Credit card processing will soon to crossing over to another mode of payment - via watches.

Mobile devices have quickly become an area of focus for retailers. Service providers aren’t merely aiming to offer all of their products and services for purchase through smartphones, they’re also giving customers the power to pay for their products with technology that’s built into the devices. Starbucks even instituted its own application that allows customers to pay for their entire order with a barcode displayed on their smartphone, to great success. But credit card processing will soon to crossing over to another mode of payment – via watches. 

Earlier this week, Samsung unveiled their Galaxy Gear smartwatch to the public. The watch will feature built-in near field capabilities that will allow it to connect to smartphones and make credit card payments at processing terminals through “bump-and-sync” technology, according to a report from GigaOm.

However, some industry experts think that smartwatches will fail to catch on with customers the way that smartphones – and mobile payment technologies – already have. Still, Jeffrey Green, director of emerging technologies at Mercator Advisory Group, told Payments Source that one of smartwatches’ greatest capabilities is the potential offered by linking the devices to smartphones or other electronic payment cards

“A watch form factor is limited by the size of the screen, from a true near field technology perspective,” he told Payments Source. “It would function better as basic contactless technology, maybe in the transportation world as a tie-in to fare cards.”

Even so, Green noted to the news source that the small total size of smartwatches, even in light of small screen sizes, would make them well-suited for convenient near field technology payments.

Smartwatches likely to roll out to consumers en masse
Business owners who want to stay ahead of the game would do well to ensure that they’re prepared to accept as many modes of payment as possible at their credit card terminal. It’s likely that companies and customers will be constantly devising innovations that will allow them more efficient means of paying retailers – such as through smartwatches, which are projected to see significant upticks in popularity in the coming years. 

Roughly 91 million smartwatches will be sold globally in 2018, according to a projection from Business Insider, representing a $9.2 billion dollar market. This suggests that a significant percentage of retail customers will be wearing smartwatches in the coming years – and it’s likely that they’ll be making payments with them as well. 

“The furor about wearable technologies, particularly smart watches and smart glasses is unsurprising,” Josh Flood, analyst at ABI, told NDTV Gadgets.

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