Westpac drops new PayWear wearable payment tech

Sally McMullen 30 October 2017

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The new way to tap and pay will be available to customers in December.

Over the weekend, Westpac announced its latest innovation in wearable payment technology with the launch of "PayWear". The waterproof and easy-to-wear payment technology will mean that you can make cardless purchases whether you’ve just jumped out of the surf or the bus.

Announced in March this year and available from December 2017, the PayWear Essentials will allow customers to make contactless payments with either a silicone wristband or a "keeper" which contains a small microchip that can be attached to a watch or fitness band. Both of these contain a microchip that’s linked to the customer’s everyday transaction account and can be used to make tap and go payments.

This means that customers can make contactless payments in the same way they would with their debit card, without having to use their smartphone or card.

“With PayWear, there is no need to search through a bag, login to an app or worry about battery life. It will be on-the-go with our customers and ready for use when they are,” said Westpac Groups chief executive George Frazis.

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Westpac is catering for cardholders who want a more seamless payment experience without the inconvenience of carrying their card. According to a survey of 1,244 Australian adults, 49% of women admitted to holding their cash or card in their bras when going out at night (65%), going for a run (48%) and going to a festival or event (45%) just to avoid carrying a wallet. Meanwhile, 39% of men had done the same in their underwear or socks when exercising (45%) or going to the beach (38%). So, hopefully, the PayWear will put an end to that annoying and frankly unhygienic habit.

Westpac is also collaborating with a bunch of Australian designers to create a variety of wearable accessory designs to go with the PayWear to suit different lifestyles and tastes. The first Australian designer announced is award-winning surfboard shaper and entrepreneur Hayden Cox of Haydenshapes.

This technology isn’t the first of its kind on the market. Sydney startup INAMO was one of the first to launch this kind of technology in Australia with its INAMO Curl (which involved a similar chip you could slip on your watch or keychain) to make contactless payments. We’ve also seen the likes of Heritage Bank and Bankwest invest in similar wearable payment technology.

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Picture: Shutterstock and Westpac

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