Report: American Express, Jawbone to Launch NFC Fitness Band (April 15, 2015)
American Express Co. is getting in on the expanding niche of wearable technology. The New York-based company is working with fitness band maker Jawbone to add contactless payments capabilities to an upcoming Jawbone product, according to the Wall Street Journal. Users of the Jawbone fitness band, which measures calories, activity and heart rate, will be able to link an American Express card to the wristband and tap to pay at NFC-enabled POS terminals. Few details are available, but Jawbone’s newest fitness band, the Up3, will not support payments when it launches next week, reports suggest. American Express is working with an undisclosed San Francisco-based technology company to develop the payments feature with Jawbone, the report indicates.
Excitement is building around wearables that support payments capabilities. The wearables technology market as a whole is worth $22.7 billion and is expected to reach $173.3 billion by 2020, according to Gemalto.
Apple Inc.’s Apple Watch, which supports NFC payments at the POS, sold out within six hours of this month’s launch, with prices ranging from $349 to almost $17,000 for a luxury gold version. Microsoft Corp.’s $199 Microsoft Band enables users to pay for coffee and food at Starbucks by linking their Starbucks cards to the Microsoft Health app on the band. Other examples of payments-enabled bands include Walt Disney Co.’s $12.95 MagicBands that support access to attractions, hotel rooms and purchases for park visitors. SeaWorld also supplies its guests with wrist bands enabling payments linked to cards.
An array of imaginative wearables with payments technology is in development from Samsung to Google Inc., which is working with PayPal on its Android Wear smartwatch platform, according to the companies.
For a look at how payments-enabled wearables are shaping up, watch for the Spring 2015 issue of Pay Magazine, out in May.
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