Mastercard pumps up payments with Fitbit’s first smartwatch
Mastercard is bringing its contactless payments to Fitbit’s first smartwatch, Fitbit Ionic.
With Fitbit Ionic, health and fitness enthusiasts who use the device will be able to add their eligible cards to their fitness smartwatch and pay by simply tapping their device near a contactless terminal at more than 6.6 million merchant locations globally.
Starting 28 Aug 2017, users can pre-order the Fitbit device on the company’s website, for general availability in October this year. The payment functionality initially will be supported in the US with participating issuer banks and will expand to other markets across the globe soon after, Mastercard says.
“Consumers today are expecting technology to help them accomplish life’s daily tasks with as few steps or clicks as possible,” says Kiki Del Valle, SVP, commerce for every device, Mastercard.
“By adding payment capabilities to a Fitbit device, Mastercard cardholders who are already on-the-go can easily buy what they need without having to bring their wallet with them.”
A key to securing wearable payments is the network’s tokenization service, through which Mastercard generates a unique alternate number or token for the 16-digit card number. The token number is not only different from the card number but is also, on its own, useless when trying to perform a transaction via a different device.
This is not Mastercard’s first foray into wearables. In addition to integration with Apple Pay (and the iWatch) through its issuing partners, Mastercard is working with FitPay. The two recently announced the launch of a virtual prepaid Mastercard option for any original equipment manufacturers that integrate their products with the FitPay platform.
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