In the fragmented world of mobile payments, one company is taking advantage of unifying existing technologies for the benefit of shoppers.
FitPay is a California company that was envisioned by veterans of the mobile payments industry. This innovative tech firm has paid close attention to shoppers who have been largely underwhelmed by “contactless” mobile payments powered by the near-field connectivity (NFC) chips found in select smartphones.
Tech giants from Apple to Google to PayPal have attempted to disrupt the mobile payments scene through various methods. Digital wallets, NFC smartphones and even key chain fobs have not become ubiquitous, and one of the reasons for the lack of widespread adoption is that major tech firms are trying to establish a new standard of payment instead of leveraging existing technology.
FitPay sees a problem with coming up with a new payment standard. When it comes to transactions at the cash register, the United States has proven to be averse to change. One clear example of this aversion is the implementation of the Europay MasterCard and Visa (EMV), which is not moving along as swiftly as industry analysts expected.
Instead of coming up with yet another new payment system, FitPay is taking advantage of two technologies on the rise: wearable smart devices and EMV terminals. The company has developed an API with a corresponding SDK that can marry credit and debit cards to wearable devices such as smartwatches. Part of the strategy is to give shoppers a functional enticement to wear their smartwatches by allowing them to make payments at EMV terminals.
The idea behind being able to pay with smartwatches and other wearable devices is that many shoppers do not feel comfortable taking out their smartphones at the checkout lines. With smartwatches, however, they are already wearing the device loaded with the credit or debit card that they can use anywhere an EMV system has been implemented. This new and exciting contactless payment platform is scheduled to launch in November, just in time for the busy holiday shopping season.