If it is up to Visa, we will not be making mobile payments for much longer. The company has unveiled a new wearable to conduct payments, in the form of a ring. While this may sound like a strange concept, it could become a solution consumers can embrace quite quickly.
The Visa Payment Ring Is Very Real
As is the case with any innovation in the payment industry, there will be those who dismiss the mere notion of the Visa payment ring. Then again, this may very well be the only form of wearable both men and women could embrace to make contactless payments in the long run. After all, most people do not want another wristband to pay for goods and services unless it can also monitor health and GPS.
Visa will launch the payment ring at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, and all of the company’s Olympic team athletes will receive one. For now, it remains unclear if and when consumers will gain access to this wearable, and if so, at what price. The company showcased a prototype in New York City earlier this week.
Some people may wonder why Visa would venture into this world, considering the Kerv Ring was unveiled not too long ago. Tokenization will play an integral role in the process as it can replace sensitive card information with a digital identifier. Doing so would let users complete payments without disclosing sensitive financial data, similar to how Bitcoin transactions work.
It is important to note using the Visa payment ring still requires an NFC-capable payment terminal. Users can then proceed to “fist bump” the terminal in question, and payments should be accepted automatically. Moreover, this is a very cost-efficient solution, as it uses a secure microchip by Gemalto and a tiny NFC antenna. That being said, the Visa payment ring is waterproof, which some people might see as a bonus.
Despite all of these positive aspects, there are some things to take into consideration. Users will need to own a contactless prepaid debit card to use with the ring. Secondly, this product is still a test, and there is no guarantee it will ever hit the mainstream. All in all, this solution could be quite powerful, assuming Visa can execute payments flawlessly.
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