Bankwest has built its own wearable payments tech

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Bankwest has built its own wearable payments tech
Trial participant and Bankwest staffer Monique Fan.

In trial of contactless purchases.

Four hundred Bankwest staff will spend the next 12 weeks making payments through one of three different wearable technologies the bank has built itself.

Bankwest has taken the near-field communications (NFC) microchips normally located in its credit and debit cards and repurposed them into a key fob, a fitness-style wristband, and a clip that is attached to a person's wristband.

The idea stemmed from a hackathon pitch, and has now evolved in a 12-week trial of the three wearable technologies.

The concept was to allow people to make payments of up to $100 through "whatever comes to hand most easily", according to Bankwest managing director Rowan Munchenberg.

“If they’re buying petrol and have their keys in their hand they may well pay with their key fob. If they’re out for a run and stop for a drink they could swipe their wristband," he said in a statement.

"The technology is just as secure as in people’s cards – it’s just in a different form.

“Our customers’ lives are so varied and so we need to look at offering a range of payment methods that fit their lifestyles. Students, self-employed, FIFOs, retirees, regional or metro – there really can’t be a one size fits all approach anymore."

The 400 trial volunteers will provide feedback on their experience, and data will be collected on how the participants used the wearable technologies compared to their existing contactless debit and credit cards.

The end goal is to come up with a range of wearable payments technologies that are relevant for customers. However there is no commitment that the trial will result in any products.

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